Jews in Poland: The Museum of the History of Polish Jews
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What monument, formally unveiled in April, 1948, faces the entrance to the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw?
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a cultural and educational center that for over a year has organized a rich cultural program, including temporary exhibitions, films, debates, workshops, performances, concerts, lectures and much more.
The Museum was formally founded in 2005 by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the City of Warsaw and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The initiative spans many fields of research, drawing on the expertise of scholars and museum professionals from around the world. They also work with the community at large to create a vibrant place of exchange and dialogue where all have the opportunity to express their views, ask questions and grow.
The Museum stands in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw – an area which the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The design by the Finnish studio Lahdelma & Mahlamäki was selected in an international competition. In 2008, with the building still under construction, it received the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award.
The official opening of the Core Exhibition will take place on October 28. This exhibition will immerse visitors in the world of Polish Jews, from their arrival in Po-lin as traveling merchants in medieval times until today. The exhibition is being produced by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland thanks to the support of donors from all over the world. Each of the eight galleries will present a different chapter of the story of Polish Jews, enabling visitors to get to know those who lived that story through images, artifacts, first-person accounts and interactive multimedia.
Tamara Sztyma the Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions, and Grzegorz Tomczewski, its Media Relations Specialist, spoke with us about the Museum, its activities and the Core Exhibition, to be opened on October 22.
LINKS TO OTHER MUSEUM WEBSITES: Virtual Shtetl , Polish Righteous , Central Judaica database