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Unseen is an immersive soundwalk from Culture.pl which reimagines places which have been lost on the map of Warsaw, Poland.

Season 1 concentrates on the Interwar period and the area that is now Defilad Square and the Palace of Science and Culture.

Season 2, made in partnership with the Warsaw Rising Museum, is all about the most daring stories from the Warsaw Uprising, which took place over 63 days from August 1st to October 2nd 1944.

Season 3 is about the most significant locations from the Jewish history of Warsaw, a city that at its peak saw a third of its citizens identify as Jews.

Nov 23, 2021

In the Jewish cultural memory, 13 Tłomackie Street is the address of the worldwide embassy for Yiddish literature, a kind of British Council or Goethe Institute, as well as the Ministry of Diasporic Culture and the Cultural Parliament in one.

This ‘global address’, as the journalist Jecheskiel Najman called it, became a symbol of pre-war cultural life, its disputes and debates, as well as its ups and downs. It appears in almost every memoir about pre-war Jewish literary Warsaw.

Among others, the Nobel Prize laureateIsaac Bashevis Singerwrote a series of articles about the place. Of course, they did not mention the address itself, but the institution that operated here: Fareyn fun Yidishe Literatn un Zhurnalistn, or the Union of Jewish Writers and Journalists.

The union was founded in 1916 and initially had no headquarters. In June 1918, it moved to 11 Tłomackie Street, and then a few months later from October 1918 until May 1938, it functioned at the legendary address of 13 Tłomackie Street.

In 1927, Tłomackie 13 became the headquarters of the Warsaw section of the Jewish PEN-Club, an international organisation of writers, which continues to operate to this day.

Further reading:

How to listen:

Unseen is available as a downloadable podcast, although it is best experienced through the Echoes geolocative storytelling app available for iOS and Android. After loading the app, search for soundwalks in Warsaw and you’ll find Unseen.