News CoE in brief Permanent Representation Poland in CoE
19 April 2014
A unique and the most modern museum in Poland is located in Warsaw’s district of Muranow, in the heart of the former Jewish quarter. It shows the history of Polish Jews from the first settlement in the Middle Ages to the present time. Never before has it been presented so comprehensively. The history of Polish Jews is worth discovering, all the more so that it is strictly related to the history of Poland.
The main exhibition presenting a thousand years of Jewish presence in Poland will be completed in summer 2014. It will not be a traditional set of exhibits displayed in glass cases, but rather an interactive time travel during which visitors will be led through centuries of history.
The historical part of the exhibition begins with a 12th century coin with Hebrew inscriptions. It clearly proves that Jewish merchants were already present in Poland in the early Middle Ages. The replica of a 17th century wooden synagogue ceiling is a spectacular exhibit. It is covered with colourful paintings that represent Jewish zodiac signs, scenes from the Torah as well as floral and animal motifs. The synagogue was located in the town of Hvizdets (today’s Ukraine). It burned down during World War I, but the ceiling has been reconstructed based on 19th century drawings and photographs. The museum abounds in such interesting exhibits.
The main exhibition is expected to be completed in June, and the official inauguration has been scheduled for 28 October 2014. However, the Museum is already vibrant with life. It is becoming a centre of culture and education, not only about the Jewish history. It also focuses on promoting tolerance, openness and variety – it is by referring to these values that the Museum’s creators want to show Poland’s multicultural diversity over the past centuries.
The Museum’s modern building was designed by the Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki. It was opened to the public in April 2013, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The PLN 300 million (EUR 71 million) project was funded by the city of Warsaw and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
MFA Press Office
On the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising:
During world war II, in 1940, Germans established a ghetto in the heart of occupied Warsaw. The entire Jewish population of Poland’s capital was resettled. Three years later, when the ghetto was being closed down during the Holocaust, the Jewish resistance arose, choosing death over extermination camp. Insurgents from the Jewish Combat Organisation and Jewish Military Union fought the Germans for over a month, from 19 April to mid-May 1943. After suppressing the rebellion, Germans razed the Jewish quarter to the ground. Only a few hundred Jews survived out of several dozen thousand.
A year after this bid for freedom, Warsaw became the theatre of another tragic event. On 1 August 1944 the Warsaw Uprising began, which lasted 63 days. The population of the occupied capital city took up arms against the Nazis. Between 150 and 200 thousand civilians were killed and more than 500 thousand inhabitants of Warsaw had to leave their homes. The city was completely destroyed.
See the photo gallery of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews: https://www.flickr.com/photos/polandmfa/sets/72157633254989303
Visit the Museum’s website: www.jewishmuseum.org.plphoto: Mariusz Cieszewski/polska.gov.plSEE MORE