Trip to Poland: June 13, 1937 - Krakow

[Travel Diary Entry]

6-13-1937 /
Krakow, Hotel Grand /
Population 250,000 /

Wawel / Groby / Kosciol Maryanski / Drukarnia

6-13-1937 /
Krakow, Hotel Grand /
Population 250,000 /

Wawel / Graveyard / St. Mary's Church / Printers

(Image Attribution: KHRoN Polish Wikipedia; Text Copyright (c) 2017 Cynthia Shenette)

Trip to Poland: June 12, 1937 - Katowice

Hotel Monopol
[Travel Diary Entry]

June 12 - 1937 /
Katowice /
Hotel Monopol / Population / Museum / Polytecnic (sic)  / Katowice jest Gorny Slask / Wojewodzwto Samdzielne

June 12 - 1937 /
Katowice / 
Hotel Monopol / Population / Museum / Polytechnic (sic) / Katowice is Upper Silesia / Voivodeship [Province] Self reliant or Independent

(Image Wikipedia, Creative Commons; Text, Copyright (c) 2017 Cynthia Shenette)

Trip to Poland: June 12, 1937 - Poznan

Polish Merchants Association from America, in Front of Raczynski Library, Poznan

Polish Merchants Association from America, Poznan

Postcard, Imperial Castle and Poznan University

Advertising Card from Hartwig Kantorowicz
[Travel Diary Entry]

June 12 /
Breakfast in room / Sightseeing / Cathedral w Poznani / Groby Boles Miecz Chrobriego / Davidowskiego Bekoniaski / szynek / Ratusz. Museum / Wino - Tokaj dawane w / Ratuszu / Wilekopolski Dom Kupiecki / Zrzeszen. Kawa ciastka / Lody kregele / rdjazd do Katowic

June 12 /

Breakfast in room / Sightseeing / Poznan Cathedral / Tomb of Boleslaw and Mieszko the Brave / Dawidowski Bacon / ham / Town Hall Museum / Wine - Tokay given to the / town hall / Greater Poland House Merchant / Association Coffee, cakes / ice cream kregele / departure to Katowice

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette)  After joining her tour group in Gdynia my Aunt Helen traveled to the city of Poznan. Poznan is the capital city and largest city of Weilkopolska or Greater Poland. Poznan is also a major financial center, second only to Warsaw. Between my aunt's diary and a type printed itinerary (in Polish) my aunt kept from her trip to Poland, I've been able to do a pretty decent job at figuring out what she visited while she was there. I will say, I've had an interesting time trying my hand at translating this particular diary entry from Polish to English all by myself. I don't speak or write Polish. I generally depend upon the kindness of a cousin to do my translating for me, but I thought I'd take a shot at it this time myself. 

For my translation I used a combination of Google Translate, Google, and a Polish/English dictionary to assist me. If my aunt's handwriting was always clear and legible I don't think I would have had much of a problem, but sometimes I just couldn't read her handwriting. I've also noticed variations in spelling throughout her diary. To assist with my translation I used a printed travel guide of Poland to put things into context. If you read Polish, feel free to comment if you see any glaring errors. 

From what I've been able to figure out, my aunt's sightseeing tour of Poznan included visits to the Raczynski Library, the Poznan Town Hall in the Old Town the Imperial Castle, Poznan University Hartwig Kantorowicz distillery, and the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. I think they also may have visited the Dawidowski bacon/ham manufacturer or shop. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any information on this establishment. They also stopped for coffee, cake, and ice cream with the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants. 

The first photo at the top of this article was taken in front of the Raczynski Library. I found a clipping of a newspaper article in my aunt's things that includes a copy of the photo and identifies the tour group as the Polish Merchants Association from America. The text of the article reads: "Polish Merchants of America in Poznan - On Saturday 12th day of this month had been in Poznan tour of Polish Merchants Association in America. The group of 51 members, which is travelling now through Poland, visited the city and was welcomed by the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants. On the picture members of the tour at the front of Raczynski Library" Great thanks to my cousin for providing the translation.

I believe the American group gave a bottle of Tokay, a type of Hungarian wine, to I'm guessing the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants at the Poznan Town Hall. The group probably then toured the Old Market Square. Check out the embedded links for additional information about the sites visited. The link for the Old Market Square is particularly interesting. There is a map of the square and a listing/history for each of the buildings in the square.

I haven't been able to identify the exact location of the second photo, however I do know it was taken in Poznan given information on the back of the photo. The electric trolley in the background is interesting. The postcard below the photo offers a view of the Imperial Castle and Poznan University. The final image is an advertisement from the Hartwig Kantorowicz distillery. Hartwig Kantorowicz began producing Wyborowa vodka in 1823. Wyborowa is still produced and exported today. The Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul was built in 966, and contains the tombs of Mieszko I and Boleslaw the Brave, two of Poland's first rulers.

Next stop, Katowice...

Trip to Poland: June 11, 1937 - Gdynia

Polish Merchants Association
[Travel Diary Entry]

Gdynia June 11 / 

stopped for dinner at / Dom Zdrojowny then / sightseeing / Coffee at "Cafe Baltyk / 7.20 Train for Poznian (sic) / Stopped at Hotel / Bazar (sic) / Population 122,000 people

(Image in the Collection of  Cynthia Shenette; Text Copyright (c) 2017 Cynthia Shenette) The photo above is a picture of the tour group my Aunt Helen Bulak traveled with for part of her visit to Poland. The group was made up of 51 members of the Polish Merchants Association from America. The group traveled to Gdynia, Poznan, Katowice, Crakow, Zakopane, Czestochowa, and Warsaw. After leaving the tour in Warsaw, my aunt stayed with my grandfather's Szerejko relatives in Warsaw.

From what I've read, Gdynia was a relatively small fishing village until 1918 and is one of the more recently developed cities in Poland. After World War I, Poland attained independence, but did not have a control of the port of what is now Gdansk (then Danzig). The Polish government decided to build a seaport at Gdynia. Construction started in 1921. Gydnia quickly grew to the size of a major seaport.

While in Gdynia my aunt traveled to the seaside town of Sopot and had dinner at Dom Zdrojowy (Spa House). A lovely seaside resort, Dom Zdrojowy was destroyed by fire after being sacked by the Red Army in 1945 during the Soviet occupation of Sopot. After dinner and sightseeing my aunt stopped at the Cafe Baltyk in Gdynia before taking the train to Poznan. The cafe was renamed Cafe Berlin during the German occupation of World War II.

Trip to Poland: June 10, 1937 - Copenhagen, Denmark

[Travel Diary Entry]

6-10-1937 /
Stopped at Copenhagen for / sightseeing trip. /
Kopenhagen / 900,000 people / 400,000 bicycles /
Denmark / 3 1/2 million people / 7 million pigs

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette)  The M.S. Pilsudski stopped in Copenhagen, Denmark on 10 Jun 1937. The stop provided enough time to allow passengers the opportunity to take a sightseeing tour of the city, before continuing on to the ship's final destination of Gdynia, Poland. My Aunt Helen Bulak's travel diary entry for Copenhagen is pretty brief to say the least. I've been to Copenhagen and toured the city on a bicycle. It's a lovely city. There is certainly more to write about than just the Copenhagen and Danish human (and swine) population and the number of bicycles. My guess is that Aunt Helen was either rushed or too tired from the ocean voyage to write more. I will say, bicycles did and still do play a prominent role in the culture of the city.

I found a great video on Copenhagen in 1937. When I did a simple Google search using the phrase "Copenhagen 1937," what to my wondrous eyes did appear but a YouTube video called "Traveltalks - Copenhagen" from 1937. The video was part of a travel series produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While the narration and attitudes in the video are dated, the images are wonderful. The video is filmed in Technicolor, unusual for the time. As a result, the video has a warmth that I generally find lacking in black and white documentary film. While I don't have anymore details from my aunt's trip to Copenhagen, the video does give me a good feel for the sights and images of the day. I enjoyed my visit to wonderful Copenhagen, and I hope you do too!

Trip to Poland, 1937: June 10, 1937 - Lunch on the M.S. Pilsudski

Menu in the Collection of Cynthia Shenette; Text Copyright (c) 2017 Cynthia Shenette)  The first image is the cover of the luncheon menu offered aboard the M.S. Pilsudski on 10 June 1937. The back of the cover states that the photo is, "A fragment of the castle at Krasiczyn, since many centuries the property of the ducal family of Sapieha. A typical country residence of the erstwhile powerful and influential aristocracy of Poland." The menu for the luncheon looks delicious, well, except for the "sauerkraut juice." Menu items include: Cold filet of capon, beef saddle, consomme with noodles, soup Russian style, omelet with spinach, poached eggs Hollandaise, roast beef Anglaise, broiled lamb chops, and petit duc. The desserts sound intriguing--rissole with jam, pudding diplomate, and pineapple ice.

Trip to Poland: June 9, 1937 - Aboard the M.S. Pilsudski

Danuta Gralicka, Front Left; Helen Bulak, Center, Alica Gralicka, Front Right
Kasimera Gralicka, Boleslawa Pomianowska

[Travel Diary Entry]

Date June 9. 1937
M.S. Pilsudski
Line Gdynia American

8th Day, Land, Farewell dinner

(Program in the Collection of Cynthia Shenette; Image and Text Copyright (c) 2017 Cynthia Shenette)  The program is for an "entertainment" on board the M.S. Pilsudski entitled, "Galaxy of Stars, graciously offered by the passengers of the M.S. Pilsudski." The Galaxy Stars took place, "At sea, June 9th 1937 - 9:30 P.M."