Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…
This week I’ve picked The Choice by Edith Egar – which is set in Poland.
In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.
The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.
The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
Interesting Facts about Poland:
- Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe
- The name Poland or Polska, originates from the name of the tribe Polanie, which means “people living in open fields”
- Located in Wrocław, the “Piwnica Swidnicka” is the oldest restaurant in Europe. It has been open since 1275 and you can still eat there!
- Poland has the second oldest university in Europe – The Jagiellonian University was founded by King Casimir III the Great in 1364.
- Poland is the home to Auschwitz which was a mass extermination camp led by Nazis where over a million of people from around Europe were killed during the World War 2.
- Many Poles celebrate their name day or imieniny, which is the day commemorating the Saint they are named after.
- Poland has 328 miles of coastline along the Baltic.
- Marie Curie, the woman who discovered Polon and Rad, wasn’t French, but Polish. Her name was Marie Sklodowska before she married a Frenchman named Pierre Curie. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.
- Poland has16 World Heritage Sites; 15 of which are cultural, and one (the Białowieża Forest) a natural site!
- This forest (which is 380,000-acres) is home to 800 European bison, Europe’s heaviest land animals.
- Traditional Polish names change depending on the sex. Names that end with –ski/ska or –cka/cki work like adjectives and need to match the gender. So, if your a female and your father’s name is Kowalski, you’ll be called Kowalska.
- Poland is home to ‘Masurian Lakeland’, which has more than 2000 lakes; including Sniardwy which is 13.7 miles long, 8.3 miles wide.