Polish Museum Set To Open Spectacular Window on Jewish Past

April 5, 2013

Soure: The Jewish Daily Forward


After a gestation period of nearly two decades, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw is finally set to open its doors April 19, which is the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.


One of the most significant Jewish cultural projects in contemporary Europe, the museum will tell the story of the Jewish people’s 1,000-year history in Poland. According to museum officials, the core exhibition, which will be installed in the spring of 2014, will demonstrate how Jewish history and Polish history have been intertwined for the greater part of a millennium.


It is an ambitious and risky venture that has proved challenging from both a philosophical and a practical point of view. In a country where Jews were not welcome for much of the 20th century, one that many Jews associate primarily with the Nazi death camps, such a museum seems bound to challenge long-held beliefs and stereotypes.


The first object to be installed in the core exhibit is a magnificent re-creation of the timber-framed roof of the Gwozdziec Synagogue, painstakingly reconstructed using only original methods, tools and materials. Richly decorated with zodiac symbols, religious insignia and a plethora of real and mythological animals, the synagogue roof seems to augur well for the as-yet-unfinished museum, housed in the sleek edifice designed by Finnish architects Rainer Mahlamäki and Ilmari Lahdelma.


See the entire story in The Forward.


See a video presentation on the museum on Youtube.

Updated: Apr. 29, 2013