National Geographic : 1915 Jan
Photo and copyright by B. W. Kilburn THE SWINE MARKET: WARSAW "Russian Poland usually has a winter somewhat similar to that of New England. There is an even cold, with not a great deal of snow, but often with razor-edged winds from the northward. The rivers of this region usually freeze over about the middle of December, and the Vistula is under ice for approximately 80 days during the average winter" (see text, page 91). In the eighteenth century Warsaw, next to Paris, was the most brilliant city in Europe. times this became so great that- more than one Russian statesman came to ad vocate turning Russian Poland over to Germany. METHODS OF REPRESSION For a long time the Poles were for bidden even to use their native tongue. Even the railway employees could not answer questions asked in Polish. The word "Polish" itself could not be used in the newspapers. For a while no letter could be addressed in Polish. Outside of what is now known as Russian Poland, in the provinces acquired before the final partition, one still encounters notices in and on all public buildings reading: "The speaking of Polish is forbidden." In one of these provinces street-car conductors were fined because they answered ques tions asked in Polish. The national dress was forbidden, even as a carnival costume or in historical dramas in the theater. The coat of arms of Poland had to be erased from every old house and from the frame of every old picture. The singing of the national songs was strictly taboo. Yet with all the efforts at repression, and with all the resistance made against that repression, when the present war broke out the Russian Pole seems to have been as loyal to his government as the German Pole was to Germany or the Austrian Pole to Austria. The whole war in the eastern theater has been fought in territory which once belonged to Poland, territory largely peopled by Poles, and yet there is no evidence that any of them have betrayed their respect ive flags.