About Nalewki Street talks dr Rafał Żebrowski

Nalewki was the axis of the Jewish quarter. A broad street, densely populated, even crowded, on which ran trams.

Wide full hd  tram

Nalewki was the axis of the Jewish quarter. A broad street, densely populated, even crowded, on which ran trams. It could have been distinguished by a strong dominance of Yiddish language and distinctiveness in clothing. In Nalewki reigned traditional dress code of religious women: wigs, and among men: gabardines.


Bernard “Regnis” Singer “Moje Nalewki”(My Nalewki), Warsaw, 1956 “The Jewish quarter of Warsaw constituted one fifth of the city. It assembled two hundred fifty thousand people, which was one third of the population. [...] This little world seemed very large. I admired Friedman’s passage in Świętojerska with access to Wałowa street. You could live there without going into the street. There were two houses of prayer, a shrine from Góra Kalwaria for Hasidic Jews, two cheders, a bakery, grocery stores, several eateries and cafes, a hotel and two institutions with a funny name’’ furnished rooms’’. There was no monopol for alcohol. Nalewki sold lace, leather goods and hosiery. Gęsia traded manufacture from Moscow and Łódź. Franciszkańska bought Radom’s leather... Sometimes there was an intruder selling soap in Gęsia instead of Franciszkańska. Theyr were also “Gentile“ oases in our neighborhood. Fregat sold platters for young married couples, Skarzyński in Nalewki: soap that maids bought on Saturdays. Perłow traded tea and sugar in Nalewki. People bought sugar from him in order to exchange it for 100 rubles. Merchants often lived close to their stores. They prayed not far from their flats.”

Henryk Nagiel, Tajemnice Nalewek (The Mysteries of Nalewki), Warsaw 1911

“Nalewki, with its, so to speak, tributaries: Franiszkańska, Gęsia and Muranowska are not similar to any of other streets in Warsaw. Such crowd rushing to death, gesticulating and disputing loudly, accosting others, not wasting any more time, you will not find anywhere else in Warsaw. To break through this human swarm, it is impossible! In the middle, run trams with loud bells, carriages, heavy, loaded cars rattle. On the sidewalks they are unloading goods. Movement everywhere. Sometimes, a human tide, unable to find enough space on the sidewalk, pours into the middle of the street. And the houses themselves... You won’t notice a foot of empty wall: there are signs everywhere. On the ground floor: shops. Stores on the first floor, and so on up to the attic. In the backyard, also shops. And if you only look into one of these dark holes, sometimes you will find there goods worth hundreds of rubles. The houses have a special character and physiognomy. Dirty and tattered, but capacious. A few backyards, a maze of publishing houses, sort of stables — they all have a capacity of a few thousand people. These huge houses, small towns have a distinct population. A stall-holder, who for half a century on the third backyard sold makagigi to the brats in the neighborhood: this student, who from Cheder in the second backyard for ten years has not looked out onto the street. [...] What isn’t there to be found in Nalewki? There are both: factories and workshops, storages and money exchanges, hotels and restaurants. Here, there are people visiting, special ones, with long and curly beards, of Eastern faces and smelling of onions and in long gabardines, enterprising ones, making sales worth thousands, coming from Odessa, Tiflis, sometimes from Isfahan, but always with Nalewki and thousands of junctions linked, speaking their language and understanding their business. "


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