Thursday, May 10, 2018
From French to German to . . . Polish?
Yet another photograph found in an antique shop in the foothills of northern California demonstrates how international was the draw of the California Gold Rush. If we can't return the postcard written in French, or identify the woman from Germany, perhaps we can try our hand at Polish.
At least, I think this photo postcard is written in Polish. We'll take a closer look tomorrow at the note written on the reverse of the picture.
If nothing else, we have a date—well, I think we have a date. At first glance, I took it to read 1939, but once I scanned and enlarged the picture, it seems to actually read 1934.
In addition, someone cut away a section of the picture to insert the word "Ciechocinek." Curiosity got the better of me, and I went searching for any clues about that name. Apparently, it is a riverside spa town south of the city of Torun in north-central Poland, known for its thermal springs.
Since Wikipedia has several current photographs of the town, I looked to see if I could find anything similar to the grand old building in front of which our subject was standing for her portrait. The Nazis had used Ciechocinek as site of a military hospital during World War II, so I thought perhaps the place might not have sustained as much damage as other parts of war-torn Poland, but I didn't see any signs of a building such as this in the photographs there.
I suspect this woman—whoever she was—had arrived for a relaxing vacation, or perhaps in hopes of having the restorative value of the saline springs provide some therapeutic benefit during her stay.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at what was written on the reverse of this card, but unless someone here is talented in deciphering Polish handwriting, I suspect the subject of today's photo postcard will be consigned to the (unfortunately) growing stack of pictures which I will not be able to send on their way back home.