Following the Amber Way – From the Baltic Sea to Ancient Rome

One of only six examples of a lizard trapped in amber, this specimen can be seen at the Amber Gallery and Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania

The fuzzy silhouette within the long rod of amber seemed familiar, yet I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing. I turned my head sideways and squinted to better focus. With a start, I realized I was looking at the complete body of a lizard that had been trapped in amber. The specimen at the … Read more

The Heart of Chopin Still Beats in Warsaw, Poland

Audience awaits a Chopin concert in a small venue in Warsaw's Old Town

Katarzyna Kraszewska sat ramrod straight in front of the black lacquered Steinway & Sons grand piano. She contemplated the keyboard for a moment before striking the first commanding chord of a piece written by Frédéric Chopin. For the next hour I was mesmerized, fascinated that so much of the music was familiar to me, despite … Read more

PHOTO: Warsaw Old Town Market Place, Pride of Poland

Main Square in Warsaw Old Town, With It's Iconic Dolphin Sculpture

Warsaw Old Town Market Place is the main square in the historic center of the Polish capital. In retribution for the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the square was blown up by the Nazi’s during World War Two. After the war, the square was rebuilt, using photos and old plans for authenticity. Residents sifted though the … Read more

PHOTO: Historic Castle Square in Warsaw Poland

Castle Square with Sigismund's Column in Warsaw Poland

Historic Castle Square in Warsaw, Poland is the entrance to the city’s Old Town (Stare Miasto). Between 85% and 90% of the city of Warsaw was destroyed during World War Two following the failed Warsaw Uprising, which infuriated Hitler. The castle at right and Sigismind’s Column at left were victims of the destruction. Both were … Read more

After Visiting Auschwitz Concentration Camp, I Am Very, Very Afraid

The words "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes You Free) span the entrance to Auschwitz Concentration Camp

During World War Two, the mass murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, mentally disabled, physically handicapped, and communists was the result of simple, vile ideas that were espoused by one hate-filled man. Hitler did not grow up hating Jews. As a young man he was a German Nationalist, however at that time he … Read more