Extraordinary never-before-seen photos of war-torn Warsaw being rebuilt found during attic clearance
Hundreds of previously unseen black-and-white film negatives showing Warsaw during its rebuilding in the 1950s have been discovered in an attic by the family of an amateur photographer who ‘captured life'.
The fascinating photos taken by Adolf Duszek show both the centre of Warsaw and the photographer’s home district of Bielany.
The scores of negatives were found in several boxes by the photographer’s children when they were sorting through old items in the family home in Old Bielany.
The photographer’s son Roman Duszek said: “It was a huge surprise. When my sister was cleaning the house, she found boxes filled with negatives.
“There are a lot of them and I suspect that many of these negatives were never even developed by my father.”
Some of the 500-plus photographs show the finishing touches being put to the freshly rebuilt Old Town market square.
Windows can be seen being fitted to historic merchant houses on what is known as the Barss side of the square, named after Franciszek Barss, an influential townsman who fought for the rights of merchants.
Duszek adopted a warts-and-all approach to photographing Warsaw. This can be seen in his image of a ruined street in the Old Town with rubble and old bedding strewn across the street.
The old and the new can also be seen in an image of the brand-new Palace of Culture and Science. What will become Defilad square is still a patchwork of tenement house foundations from what were once the streets Wielka and Zielna.
Trams can be seen criss-crossing the busy junction of Marszałkowska and Jerozolimskie.
Other photos show Confederation square in Bielany, as well as the church in Bielany with visible bullet marks on the brick fence.
Describing his father’s photography, Roman Duszek said that it “was a passion to which he devoted himself entirely.
“He took pictures of architecture, but also people. He did it without the feeling that they would be made public one day. He just photographed and captured life.”
That passion for art and imagery was passed from father to son. Roman Duszek is one of Poland’s greatest graphic designers of the 20th century, whose work includes the signage for the first line of the Warsaw Metro as well as the liveries on LOT aircraft.
Mr Duszek has now donated the important collection to local photo archive Bielańska Fototeka, which is in the process of scanning the hundreds of negatives.
After digitising all the photos, it plans to hold an exhibition, publish a photo album and organise a series of walks in the footsteps of Adolf Duszek and the places he photographed.