Did you all have a nice, relaxed Easter weekend? I hope you did!
This year, I didn’t spend Easter weekend at home; instead, my mom, me, my dad’s cousin, and her daughter took my grandma (my dad’s mom) to Poznan, Poland.
My grandma lived there for a year and a half from 1943 to 1945. In early 1945, they very suddenly had to flee because of the war (my grandma was 14 at the time). They very hastily packed the most necessary things, put them on their sleigh (it was winter) and walked to the train station where they took the train to Bremen (I think). My grandma had never been back to Poznan, and since she always said how she wanted to go back and see what it looked like now and if the house was still there, we finally took her.
We left on Friday morning and got to Poland just fine. The weather was great, traffic was okay… until we crossed the border…
What should have been a 6-hour-trip turned into a 10-hour-trip! Once we were in Poland, traffic was a nightmare!
We eventually made it to Poznan and our hotel though, where we got superior instead of economy rooms, because except for breakfast the restaurant was closed because of Easter.
So we unpacked and then walked to a market square in the old-town-district, where we had dinner. The whole square was surrounded by beautiful buildings like these:
Dinner was great (the prices for eating out were incredibly low!) and we had a nice first evening.
Saturday morning after breakfast we went to a small peninsula where my grandma’s family had a garden. We were hoping the apple- and cherry trees would still be there, but there were no signs of any gardens.
You can see the dome from there, so we walked over to it to take a look.
Really an impressive and beautiful building! People of all ages were coming with little baskets full of food that I think was gonna be their Easter breakfast and that they got blessed. Is that common Catholic practice?
After the dome, we drove to the street where my grandma lived 66 years ago. Finding it was quite the task, because when she lived there all the streets had German names. So I googled around and finally found something in Polish on Wikipedia that I google-translated and it actually said what the street is named now!
And guess what… the house is still there!
You can tell that it has seen the war, but except for its new roof and windows (new is a relative term here), it still looks just the same!
Even the front door is still the same one!
…and it was actually open!
This is the door to the apartment where my grandma and her family lived.
It’s also still the same one! We almost couldn’t believe it!
This is the back of the house, which also hasn’t really changed.
Amazing to find everything almost the way it was 66 years ago, right? We could tell how moved my grandma was… it was so great to watch!
On Sunday, we went to the train station.
When my grandma and her family left town in the early winter of 1945, the square in front of the station was full of sleighs, because just like them, people had put their most necessary belongings on them to get them to the train station but then left them behind.
Last time my grandma was here, it was crowded with people who all wanted to leave town.
Other than that, it was just the same.
Not sure if these are original though.
From the train station, we walked back to grandma’s old street. We walked through the beautiful park next to where they lived.
I loved the magnolias!
The park was really beautiful! The fences, lamps and gate all seemed to be original!
Straight ahead is the street where my grandma lived. It’s a pretty nice neighborhood!
We ended our weekend with a really nice dinner at a pretty elegant restaurant and drove back home on Monday, without crazy traffic this time.
I’m really glad that it was such a good weekend. For my grandma, going back and finding nothing like she remembered it could have been a huge disappointment and negative experience. But this way, it was really positive for her, and I think it was good that we took her so she was able to close this chapter of her life.