4. The House of Cukier
6. Kochanowski Street

[Warszawska Street]

Warszawska Street is both the main and the oldest street in the city. In the first half of the 18th century, it was called Węgrowska Street, whereas in the second half “To the Windmill”. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was named Rożniecka Street in honour of the general who liberated Siedlce during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1840, the street was officially named Warszawska Street. In 1928, on the 10th Anniversary of Regaining Independence by Poland, the street was renamed Józef Piłsudski. Then, between 1947 and 1980, the street was under the patronage of General Karol Świerczewski.

Nowadays, Warszawska Street stretches from the city entrance from the side of Warsaw to the Warsaw viaduct; the road then becomes Józef Piłsudski Street. This part of the former Warszawska Street and the buildings located along it appear repeatedly in the Diary of Anna Kahan. Here, she worked, met with friends, went shopping and from here she set off for a walk in the park.

Right behind the building, which now houses the Tax Office, at 66 Warszawska Street, was the “Hazomir” club. On the ground floor, was the Agricultural Society of Siedlce.

At “Hazomir”, Anna often attended discussions, concerts, and theatre plays. Officially registered in 1909, the club was a real cultural centre. In 1912, it was renamed The Jewish Musical – Literary Society “Jewish Art”. On May 3, 1916, Anna noted in her diary that patriotic demonstrators walked through the city from the new church to Stodolna Street. As the parade approached the “Hazomir” building – a mandolin orchestra played on one balcony and a choir sang on another. This is how Anna recalls one of the evenings,

“An interesting evening at the Hazomir. At first, Fishbein reads Avrom Reisen’s description of the tremendous impression that Di klyatshe (‘The Mare’) by Mendele Moykher-Sforim (…). Then Tenenbaum reviews the book. He says Di klyatshe had aroused such great interest because it invalidated the theory of the maskilim (‘proponents of enlightenment’) who believed that all the ills of the Jewish people are due to their own ignorance of and isolation from European culture (…). Mendele pointed out the problems, but did not offer a solution.”

A note from January 17, 1915 shows how important Warszawska Street was in Anna Kahan’s life:

“Tonight, after work, strolling with Itke and Estusha on Warsaw Street, I laugh and joke. I’m young, I want to live, laugh, forget my troubles”.

4. The House of Cukier
6. Kochanowski Street
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