I love walking in cities – there is no telling what you might (or might not) find lurking just around a corner. Every day and every step is an adventure. Today, Marek and I wandered around – not aimlessly, we had a purpose in mind. When traveling, we try to find the buildings in which the families of clients lived. Often documents have house numbers or addresses. In this case, we had two addresses. Our hotel, the Sofitel Victoria, was pretty much in the center. We arbitrarily chose one of the addresses as our destination, and headed off to find Muranowska Street, in the Muranow neighborhood. You would think that a street named after the area in which it is located would be easy to find, and, well, central to that neighborhood. Remember, Warsaw was almost completely leveled during WWII, so a lot of things that were, are no longer. This street however, was definitely but pretty odd. It was all of one block long, with only two buildings. One is now an Ibis hotel, and is #2. We were looking for #34. Across the street, where we hoped to find that the street was renamed but could identify where #34 was, definitely had not been renamed. The address came from a typed 52 page alien file from the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization.
A hospital and other church buildings that survived the war dated back to the 18th century. A friendly policeman said that the apartment block at #1 Muranowska was probably what we were looking for. He told us that #34 was an apartment located inside #1.
On to the next address on Nowomiejska Street. On our way there was passed closed by the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute on Tłomackie and stopped in there. I have gotten assistance many times, over the years from a wonderful researcher, and wanted to see the facility. It was wonderful to see all the activity going on inside, and we stopped at the book store and purchased some maps and a couple of books.
On Novomiejska Street, again, we didn’t find the house number (13) we were looking for. The document from which I got the street number and name was a 1912 ship manifest. Both the street and number were clear, but again, there was no 13. There was however 1/3 – perhaps it was that. We couldn’t get beyond the gate to find out.
Is it possible, however, that the street name was not Nowomiejska but rather Nowowiejska? Of course the spelling on the manifest lacks the “j” that is in the Polish name. It’s impossible to tell at this point in time, what it was supposed to be. The page of the manifest has a uniform handwriting, indicating that it was copied over from somewhere else, and this could be a scribal error. Only finding other records of this family could possibly resolve the issue.
The evening presented a wonderful Chopin piano recital. These go on all over Warsaw every day. It was a beautiful, and intimate room, a talented pianist and a wonder and relaxing end to an almost 30,000 step day (over 12 miles)!