UL. PRÓŻNA 14
3,93” long / 0,98” wide
The trace of mezuzah
new mezuzah - bronze cast of the trace
The story hidden behind
After War the tenement at Próżna 14 became a property of the Polish National Treasury. It has never beer renovated and fell into disrepair. It had social housing character. Currently, it is impossible to enter Próżna 14 because of a poor condition of the building. Last years, the building was completely looted. Próżna is the only street in the area of Warsaw Ghetto, that survived the War, and kept it’s original buildings. Because of this Próżna is an important tourist destination. The future of building is unknown.
In 1899, the four-storeyed tenement on Próżna 14 was built by Mayer Wolanowski, the owner of the Factory of Screws and Wires in Warsaw. Próżna 14 was a luxury equipped building with flats for rent. The street itself had typically mercantile character. On the ground level there were shops and workshops: department store of Meerson and Epstein, ironmonger’s of Maurice Graff and „H. B. Lebelsond”, a shop of P. Brykier with wooden boards for frames and “Autoprodukt” (phone number 2 65 24). Mordka Berghauer was a saddler there.
In 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, a barricade was erected between buildings number 9 and 14. Number 14 was the headquarters of 9th squadron of “Kiliński” battalion, from where they prepared the attack of the PAST building (Polish Telephone Joint-Stock Company), one of the most important battles during the Warsaw Uprising. The soldiers of „Kiliński” battalion won the battle after 20 days of fighting. Zbigniew Grabowski, pseudonym „Chemist”, grandfather of Helena Czernek, co-founder of MI POLIN, took part in this battle. A field hospital and a kitchen serving the insurgents were located in the basement of Próżna 14. From the staff report from September 5, 1944: “The building at Próżna 14 is burning. The fire couldn’t be located.The troop was evacuated to Próżna 9”
From December 1940 until March 1941 Próżna 14 was a part of the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1943 the Polish tailor Rogoziński sheltered 2 Jews, Notke and Mietek, in this building. The watchman of the building Jabłoński, with the building owner, and with Notke and Mietek built double wall in the hall of Próżna 14 with a secret exit in case of a danger. All of them survived the War.