A few words on geography & pronounciation

We do know that Lehman grew up in the Polish town, Kleczew (pronounced KLETCH-eff or KLETCH-eh-va). I have not yet found any historical references to it. But there are references to towns and cities close by: Poznan (Posen), Gniezno, Konin, Kalisz (pronounced KAH-lish). He wrote about going to Łowicz (pronounced WO-vitch) which is between Łodz and Warsaw (Warszawa). In fact, taking the time to find Kleczew is an essential requirement to going on further. Looking at a map one can easily locate Warsaw in western Poland (the Polish call it Warszawa - pronounced vahr-SHAH-vah.) Go directly west about 200 miles to Poznan. Come back east about 50 miles to Konin. Directly north you should see Kleczew. Kalisz is south of Konin. Łowicz is closer to Warsaw.

Another way of locating it is to find it in relation to major rivers. The Warta (VAR-ta) River has its source in the Silesian hills near the city of Czestochowa. From here it flows north about one hundred miles where it suddenly turns west. After twenty miles it flows past Konin, and Kleczew is north of the Warta about fifteen miles. About thirty miles further west the Prosna River joins the Warta. Kalisz is about fifty miles south on the Prosna. From this juncture the Warta flows north and east to add its waters to the Oder River (which defines the border of Germany), eventually emptying into the Baltic Sea.

A word about pronounciation.

Polish does not use the Cyrillic alphabet as does Russian, so you'd think you could at least pronounce it until you see letters used together that are impossible to pronounce in English (ex. Szczudin.) Normally, you only need to remember that:

  1. SZ = sh (shine)
  2. CZ = ch (child)
  3. W = v (like f if at end of word, i.e. Kleczew)

Stress is usually on next to last syllable

There is an unusual letter in the Polish alphabet that is important for us in that it is the first letter in Łowicz . . . It is also the second letter in the Polish currency, the złoty. This letter looks like the English "L" but has a short dash mark across it. It is pronounced like an English "W". Łowicz becomes WOH-vitch and złoty is pronounced ZWAH-tee!

(From personal notes of D.DuVal)

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Last update by DD 10/17/07
Copyright © 2007 David DuVal