The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, opened its doors to the public on October 28, 2014. It was built on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, honors and celebrates 1000 years of Jewish life and culture in Poland. The above film documents the Museum's development from its groundbreaking in 2007 and includes footage of volunteers building the replica of the 17th-century Gwoździec Synagogue, a keystone of the Core Exhibition. The film is a succinct and engaging portrait of an enormous work in progress, including breathtaking helicam views of the building exterior. In the film, Dr. Elie Wiesel explains why the Museum, opening in 2013, is so important:
"The Museum is a geographical place of memory, and you cannot be in the place of the Ghetto Uprising and not feel something very deep. There were 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland; 1,000 years of activity, of extraordinary aspirations and endeavors and dreams and metamorphoses; 1,000 years, which must be studied and communicated and shared."
"The museum is the center of a Jewish renaissance in Poland, a catalyst that is energizing the spirit of renewal. Every year young American and Isreali Jews join Polish youth, both Jewish and non-Jewish, at festivals like the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow."
"I think it's extraordinarily exciting to be a young Polish Jew today. So many things are happening. It's an exciting time for Poland. It's been already over twenty years since communism and Poland is an open, thriving, vibrant, vivacious country. I think the museum will open people's eyes up to the fact that there is a Polish Jewish revival in Poland - that there is a Polish Jewish community. I think the museum will be some sort of a spark that will make people realize what's happening here today."
Museum of the History of Polish Jews
ABOVE: Monument at Ghetto Heroes Square located in the former Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw
(as seen from the from the entrance to the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews)
BELOW: More photos of the former Jewish ghetto taken September, 2012.
ABOVE: Monument to the Ghetto Uprising at Ghetto Heroes Square
BELOW: The other side of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Monument.
(as seen from the street, facing the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust (2004)
I think everyone should see this wonderful documentary - Poles, Jews, everyone! It is also available on Netfix Streaming.
One of the many three-foot-tall black to Uprising heroes. This on was on Zamenhofa Street.
Site of the bunker where organizers of the Uprising hid and later committed suicide when they were found by German soldiers on May 8, 1943.
Site of the bunker where organizers of the Uprising hid and later committed suicide when they were discovered by German soldiers on May 8, 1943.
The Umschlagplatz Monument ("Umschlagplatz" is German for "tranfer point") marks the spot where German soldiers brought Jewish families to load them onto trains bout for Treblinka or Auschwitz. (Perhaps you remember the harrowing scene depicted in The Pianist where the main character was separated from his family, never to see any of them again.)
Synagoga Stara w Krakowie
Old Synagogue in Cracow
(Jan Kanty Gumowski, 1916)
Jedna z dwóch zachowanych gotyckich synagog na świecie (druga jest w centrum Pragi), która została odrestaurowana po II wojnie światowej, a obecnie mieści się tam Muzeum Żydowskie.
One of two surviving Gothic synagogues in the world (the other is in the city of Prague) that was restored after World War II and now houses a Jewish Museum.
Polish Jewish museum unveils virtual tour
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews has created a virtual tour of important pre-war Jewish areas in Warsaw, using Google’s Street View technology.
From the comfort of their own living room sofas, internet users will be able to transport themselves “to the world of Nalewki Street and the Muranów quarter – reverberating with the sounds of Yiddish, bustling with pavement stalls and shops,” the museum’s website says.
A 360–degree camera photographed the exhibition in the summer of 2014, going through Jewish Warsaw from the XVI century to 1939, when the city was inhabited by 350,000 Jews, nearly 40 percent of its population.
“Thanks to the restoration of forgotten Jewish heritage, we are providing our collections to internet users all over the world,” Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Museum Collections, Jolanta Gumula said.
The museum’s sixth project, titled ‘Warszawa, Warsze’, is available via Google’s Cultural Institute along with the 1000-year History of Polish Jews.