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Photo Gallery: Siege of Warsaw, Poland 1939 Browse

Crossing the Poniatowski Bridge by Bicycle

Crossing the Poniatowski Bridge by Bicycle

A Polish couple crosses Poniatowski Bridge in the city of Warsaw by bicycle with a few of their possessions. This image from a 35mm slide was one of the few that Bryan shot directly onto color film. In his book Siege, Bryan wrote:

Wherever one looked there were hundreds of people on foot, on bicycles, pushing wheelbarrows and even baby carriages loaded down with their bedding and a little food. Occasionally one had been lucky enough to find an old wagon. They seemed always to be going in different directions – north, south, east and west. Why was this? After all, they were homeless. They had to find shelter somewhere. Each night at five-thirty the Nazis sent over more bombers, and each morning a whole new section of the city was destroyed. So they went, not always wisely, to another part of town where they hoped they might be taken in.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Julien Bryan Archive