Look closely and you see there are actually two monuments here commemorating the thousands who lost their lives in the ill-fated Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. The first, less obvious one is the circular tablet on the ground resembling a manhole and installed in 1946. It is overshadowed by the 11m, Nathan Rapoport sculpted monument that was erected two years later when all around still lay in ruins.
The contrast of the stark, labradorite-clad monument with the contemporary POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews behind it is very striking.
On 7 December 1970 German chancellor Willy Brandt famously fell to his knees in front of the Ghetto Heroes Monument in a gesture of contrition for Germany’s crimes against Polish Jews. A red-brick-clad memorial, featuring a brass relief designed by Wiktoria Czechowska Antoniewska, commemorates that event in a corner of the park which is now named after Brandt.