Oh Gdańsk, why so beatiful…

Xavi is here! The other day I had one of the most incredible experiences so far: the trip to Gdańsk. It is a place that I was especially excited to visit and, certainly, it did not disappoint at all. You want to know why?

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Gdańsk is a city that I have always wanted to visit because of its relationship with history. In Catalonia, this city is known for being a zone of German influence and, moreover, for being the beginning of the Second World War.

It’s funny because, in addition to finding you a beautiful city (adorned by the Marta Wisla and some fantastic Dutch architecture), Gdańsk is home to an impressive WWII museum. About 5,500m2 to cover the years that comprise the history of Europe and the World from 1933 to 1945.

As a fan of the subject, I really enjoyed his reproductions of Berlin streets, tanks, wagons going to concentration camps, etc. However, there was a propaganda pamphlet that caught my attention a lot.

This pamphlet is about the V for victory. At first, we might think that this symbol, embodied by the famous image of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the gesture of his hand, could be an allied symbol, supporting countries around Great Britain, France and later, USSR and USA.

It’s funny why it isn’t. This symbol is the result of a propaganda campaign that, especially in Bohemia and Moravia (today the Czech Republic) occupied by the Nazis, became very relevant. There, its head, Reinhard Heydrich, decided to launch a propaganda campaign to support the Axis victory. Thus, they formed this V for Viktoria.

What happened? The people, seeing the ambiguity of Victory or Viktoria, began to use it as a method of resistance against the Nazi occupations. Likewise, the use of this symbol could not be punished because the Reich authorities themselves had validated it. In this way, this symbol spread throughout the other territories until it became a true symbol of resistance, this photograph being an example.

Furthermore, this alliedophile pamphlet forms a word with the V; “Verloren” which means lose or lost in German. In this way, the Nazi propaganda campaign and its use as a symbol of resistance were completely ridiculed.

The famous “Unknown Pleasures” cover

It’s been on t-shirts, it’s been on posters, it’s been on tv-shows, it’s been on movies. It’s been paid tribute to, parodied, remixed and re-modelled. The iconic cover of Joy Division’s 1979 debut album Unknown Pleasures is perhaps the most enduring image of the post-punk era. You’ve probably got a t-shirt of it. Even if you haven’t, you almost certainly own the album in some shape or form.

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