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Torun - Home of Copernicus and more
Our deluxe motor coach brings us to the ancient town of Torun, home of astronomer Copernicus as well as Fort I and Fort IV, which we visit. As you see on this map, the city was ringed by forts - we cross the river and visit these two.
FRED CHANG (772-1988) checks out an entrance into the fortress.
|The guide is telling us the history of the fortress.||US Marine Corps combat veteran
(2290-C/LIFE-1992) in red jacket, listens to the guide.
USAF Senior M/Sgt
CRAIG NANCE (6837-2008) and Rolf from Switzerland checking out the moat.
Exhibitions connected with Fort VII
into the ancient town and the home of Copernicus
Then we tour the old town section of this historic city and see the house of the astronomer, Copernicus. From the looks of his home, being an astronomer was not a bad job!
Entrance to the house of Copernicus. As we said,
this is a pretty nice place for an ancient astronomer. The job must have
paid well. Upper right - some of the group who stayed together. The
rest are shopping in the old town.
PETER STOCKNER (6894-2004) gives us some insight into the background of Copernicus. He tells us:
"He was NOT Polish but German to the bone. His parents were German, his grandparents were German and all the others back in time, not only concerning the place of their living and the language they spoke, but their biology. It is an old story mostly used by Polish people and politicians (also used for touristic reasons) that Kopernikus might have been Polish. The fact is that Nikolaus Koperniki himself turned his name into Latin as many men of science did all around old Europe."
The main gate into the ancient medieval town itself and those cobblestones are the same ones that were laid down centuries ago.
MARY MYERS (7025-2005) and Bernie Burdt out the main gate.
U-Boat veteran ERWIN BURDT (1328-1989) takes a
photo of a few Sharkhunters at the main gate.
The Wistula River is only a few steps from the city gate.
Some parts of the old city are still in need of rebuilding.
|live entertainment in the old town area.||we enjoy another great meal while on "Patrol".|
USAF Senior M/Sgt CRAIG NANCE (6837-2008) listens as the guide (above right) tells about this fort. Then it is time for us to go down, down, down.........deeper and deeper into the fortress.
|Look REAL hard - and you can see daylight way, way up above.||
USMC combat veteran BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992) and RONAL HEUTON (7179-C-2007) check out the gearing mechanism for gunnery in this old fort. The look on BILL's face tells that he would not be happy to operate this gun.
|passageway to the gun.||more of the gears.||ammunition for the gun came up this way.|
Three photos above and below left - underground in bunkers
Below right - we sure traveled in style; that's our bus.
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This is Where World War II Actually Began
In 1939, the border made a sharp turn right here. The land on the side
where our camera is standing was Poland. The land across the river was
Germany. The bridge all the way across the river was also Polish. On
1 September 1939 a train was standing on the far side of the river but rather
than freight, the cars were filled with troops. Something made the Polish guards
at the train station suspicious. One thing led to another and gunfire
erupted - the train was going to cross the river but with explosive charges
already in place, the bridge was blown. This prompts the question - if the
beginning of World War II was a surprise to the Polish, who placed the explosive
charges on the bridge? It would appear that SOMEBODY knew that war
more photos of the bridge........we walked across it. It was
A LOT longer than it looked!
One of the locals needed quick medical attention, and in came the helicopter.
After the helicopter went away, a group of kids came to meet the visitors.
Back aboard our deluxe motorcoach and on to Danzig.............or is that Gdansk? We'll leave that to the historians.
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