Tag Archives: commemoration

Krakow's WWII 70th anniversary ceremony: A spectator's-eye view

I attended the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II yesterday in Krakow. It was an understated but moving event.  Attendance was low and seemed to consist mainly of people who happened to be walking past at the time plus a gang of frenetic photographers. As we know, Poles have something of an aversion to parades and marching bands for entirely understandable reasons. This is a little movie I put together of a spectator’s-eye view of the event and the lead up to it. Apologies for the occasional wobbles, it was all hand-held.

I wanted to capture the reality of the day rather than try to recreate a TV-news style glossy representation. I sought out and left in details such as the ragged heel-clicking discipline, the giant confused orange woman, and the creaking flag pole not because I wanted to make fun of the event but because I felt it made the whole thing more real and human. By the way, there’s a very interesting article about events in Krakow during the first six days of the war by William Brand on the Krakow Post website.

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