Lesson Plan

Joanna Wojdon University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

13-16 years

45 minutes

Materials to be used

Materials to be used in this lesson:

  • Photographs of Poznań taken at various times
  • Classified advertisements posted in newspapers and other places after the war

In this lesson we will be considering the consequences of WWII by:

  • Examining photographs
  • Brainstorming
  • Examining and commenting on classified advertisements


This is a set of pictures from the city of Poznań, from 1942, 1945, 1948 and 1955. Put them in chronological order and explain what helped you decide.


Which pair of photographs would you choose to illustrate best:

  1. The consequences of WWII
  2. The process of post-war reconstruction
  3. Continuity in the city (optional)
  4. Changes introduced after the war (optional)

Explain your choices.


Choose the statements that you agree with:

  1. The pictures reflect the post-WWII border changes
  2. The pictures reflect the post-WWII migrations
  3. The pictures illustrate the local results of global politics
  4. The pictures illustrate universal experiences of people in post-war Europe

Explain your choices.

Main Part

What were the consequences of the war experienced by people in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s? Write down your ideas. Try to consider people not only from large cities that were destroyed but also from towns and cities that were not bombed, and from the countryside.

The classified advertisements (below) that reflect the consequences of WWII. Explain the consequence reflected in a particular ad. Comment for teachers: group or individual work. Each student, or pair of students, or a larger group, works with an individual ad or a set of ads.

In what way the people who were placing a particular advertisement were trying to overcome the war consequence reflected in it (if they were).


100 thousand zlotys reward for finding a child. I am looking for eight-year-old Irena Śliwińska (Irena- Gizela Regenstreif), born July 31, 1938 in Lviv. Blonde, blue eyes, thought to have been left unattended by Zuzanna Wojnarowicz in the vicinity of Halicki square and Batory Street in Lviv in the first half of June 1943. Any information should be sent to the Announcement and Advertising Bureau of the Polish Press Agency, Warsaw, Pierackiego 11, marked “a hundred thousand”. Słowo Polskie (Wrocław), November 6, 1946.

Nagroda 100 tysięcy złotych za odnalezienie dziecka. Poszukuje się ośmioletniej Ireny Śliwińskiej (Irena-Gizela Regenstreif) ur. 31 lipca 1938 r. we Lwowie. Blondynka, oczy niebieskie, pozostawione bez opieki przez Zuzannę Wojnarowicz, podobno w okolicach pl. Halickiego i ul. Batorego we Lwowie w pierwszej połowie czerwca 1943 r. Wszelkie informacje należy nadsyłać do Biura Ogłoszeń i Reklamy PAP. Warszawa, ul. Pierackiego 11 pod “sto tysięcy” - SP, 6 XI 1946, w: Ligarski, w: Kucharski, s. 31


A girl of German nationality, Razita Hoeffer, 3 years old, with blonde hair and wearing a blue coat, is missing. Please bring her to the Camp for Germans, Mickiewicz street, Third Floor. Red Cross. Kurier Szczeciński, April 5, 1946.

Zaginęło dziecko narodowości niemieckiej Razita Hoeffer, lat 3, blondynka w niebieskim paltku. Odprowadzić, Obóz dla Niemców. Mickiewicza. Etap 3. Czerwony Krzyż.” Kurier Szczeciński, 5 IV 1946, Ligarski, w: Kucharski, s. 31


Will accept a nice little boy for fostering. Willing to pay. Kurier Szczeciński, August 13, 1948.

Ładnego chłopczyka przyjmę wychować, wynagrodzę, Kurier Szczeciński z 13 VIII 1948, Ligarski, w: Kucharski, s. 29


I will give a two-month old boy into good hands for fostering or possibly adoption. “Słowo Polskie”, marked “Czesław”, Słowo Polskie, March 15, 1948.

Oddam dwumiesięcznego chłopczyka w dobre ręce na wychowanie, ewentualnie za swego. “Słowo Polskie” pod “Czesław”, SP, z 15 III 1948, Ligarski, w: Kucharski, s. 28


Zielińska Mieczysława, of Wrocław Głowackiego 15/1, is looking for her husband Zieliński Ryszard, recently a resident of Lviv. Divorce case. Słowo Polskie, May 22, 1956.

Zielińskiego Ryszarda ostatnio zamieszkałego we Lwowie poszukuje żona Zielińska Mieczysława, Wrocław Głowackiego 15/1, Sprawa rozwodowa (Słowo Polskie, 22 V 1956, K. Targosz)


A repatriate lady, an office worker by profession, said to be good-natured and attractive, 22 years old, romantic, religious, is looking to establish social contact with a gentleman under the age of 30, preferably an official, and intelligent and stable. Military men welcome. Cited by S. Ligarski, Randki retro. Poznam panią nieszczupłą, „Polityka”, 2013, nr 37 (2924), s. 58-59.

Repatriantka, z zawodu pracowniczka biurowa podobno miła i sympatyczna, lat 22, romantyczka, religijna, nawiąże kontakt towarzyski z panem w wieku do lat 30, najchętniej urzędnikiem, inteligentnym, statecznym. Wojskowi mile widziani, S. Ligarski, Randki retro. Poznam panią nieszczupłą, „Polityka”, 2013, nr 37 (2924), s. 58-59.

Advertisements in the newspaper Volkszeitung, voice of the Communist Party of Germany, State of Saxony

Women workers
are needed immediately by the Dresden city delousing plant. Statements of interest, with references, to be provided on working days between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 15 Altonaer Street, Dresden.
Advertisement dates 20 or 21.09.1945

Interim Theatre of the Dresdner Stages
Wishes to buy: Theatre costumes, fabrics for theatrical purposes, stage shoes, etc. Offers to be sent to Interim Theatre of the Dresdner Stages, Dresden A1, Opera House.
Advertisement date 06.09.1945

New Revue and Varieté Theatre “The Theatre of the Thousand”
Dresden N 23, Heide Street 4, Banquet Hall Göhle-Werk Daily at 6.30 pm Saturdays and Sundays also at 3 pm only for a short time! The runaway success “Revue of Life” with the Varieté festival 1945
Advertisement date 06.09.1945

Georg Wörtge, stage teacher
Training in Operetta Vocal coaching Role preparation Register for lessons in October at:Dresden A 20, Lockwitzer Street 3,1
Advertisement date 21.08.1945

Who repairs grand pianos?
(replacement parts needed) offers to Dresdner Operetta Theatre, Dresden A45
Advertisement dates 28.08.1945

Auschwitz Concentration Camp
My wife Erna Agunte, born 6.7.1894, reportedly died on 4.1.1945 in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Former inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp who have seen or spoken to my wife are asked for information. Gust. Agunte, Director of Music, Dresden N23, Rahn Street 26 (former Stransky street)
Advertisement date 25.08.1945

State Director of Music
Kurt Striegler is now offering lessons in the study of: Operas, Ensembles, Conducting, Composition, Artistic consultation
Register in person at: Radeberger Street 29, Kienert
Advertisement date 14.08.1945

Advertisement from the Gross-Lünen Gazette

Looking for a bomb-damaged 3-4 room apartment to be renovated by own craftsmen. Written offers, quoting reference 697, to the office.
Advertisement date 27.12.1945 (?)

A former police officer [...], good writing skills, is looking for a suitable sphere of activity (office work, warehousing/storage etc.). Written offers, quoting reference 67, to The Agency Book Shop, A. Weber, Lünen-Süd, Jäger Street 45
Advertisement date 27.12.1945

Refugee woman with two sm. children wants to buy a small paraffin lamp
J. Pendzich, Lünen-Süd, Saarbrücker Street 20
Advertisement dates 27.12.1945

The following advertisements are taken from the website klops.ru:

Elena Ivanovna UTKINA, residing at 47 Engels Street, Kaliningrad, is filing a suit to dissolve her marriage with Gavriil Vasilievich UTKIN, residing in the city of Kaliningrad, 9 Organizatorskaya Street.
The case is to be heard in the People’s Court of the 1st District of the city of Kaliningrad.

September 12. Concert by Lyubov Orlova, Stalin Prize laureate, People’s Artist of the RSFSR. Concert in support of orphans whose parents were killed during the Great Patriotic War.
Tickets now on sale.
Venue: the Club, Beethoven Street.
Start: 9pm.

The Kaliningrad Tram Network urgently requires qualified manual labourers, engineering and technical staff, and office staff, as follows:
Accountants, construction engineers and technicians, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, railway engineers, fitters, drivers, car mechanics, turners, electricians, electrical fitters, carpenters, joiners, stonemasons, painters, conductors, tram drivers, gas welders, electric welders, blacksmiths, track supervisors, track operatives, dispatchers, assignment clerks, warehousemen, foremen, cashiers, timekeepers, ticket inspectors, janitors, handymen, typists, ancillary workers.
Successful candidates will be provided with living accommodation and a relocation allowance. Salary negotiable.
Address: 31 Ogareva Street (formerly Ottokarstrasse), Tram Network Personnel Department.


Revise your list of consequences of WWII. Which new aspects have you added?


‘Individual experiences differed, but the Second World War was a conflict the consequences of which no European could avoid’. Discuss this statement in an argumentative essay using the evidence from the lesson and from other sources.


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