Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Jewish museum "Polin" in Warsaw

 I visited new Jewish Museum in Warsaw. It's name is "Polin", from the old word for "forest", which is where from the word Poland comes. Interesting building-I did this photo 5 years ago, when they were still building it:

It is located inside the former Ghetto. By some "miracle" nothing of Ghetto was rebuilt after the WWII. It seems it was too demanding a task, although Polish rebuilt with a great success, the Old Town of Warsaw (it is even an Unesco site!), just few hundred meters away.

What they did was to build ONE building in place of the center of the old Jewish part of the city-and this was the one actually "gifted" to Warsaw by Moscow:

Anyway, at that time Polish did not have much of a say in Warsaw. Russians were the masters.

Interesting building contains an equally interesting exhibition. It is NOT a Holocaust museum. In three hours of my visit I did not even reach that part of the museum. Then it was the closing time, so I will have to come some other time to se that part, and also post-WWII period.

I am especially interested to see what they prepared about 1968, when there was a massive expelling of Jewish people from the universities and schools, and many had to leave the country.

The exhibition is mostly multi-medial:

I suggest taking the audio-guide at the entrance, as otherwise you might miss most of the points, it is really a wast topic.

There are also some beautiful, and interesting exponates. Like this remake of the old wooden synagogue:

An interesting passport:

Advertisements of the companies which were enabling emigration to Americas...only 6 days travel! In the ad is even specified that they provide kosher food.

On this boat, people from Poland would meet with people from Croatia.

In the log of one of such ships, from the beginning of 20.ct. which I found online, I found about 30 people from my village on the Croatian island, mixed with Poles, Ukrainians, Jews.

Poland at that time was, in difference to today's purely Polish country of Wodka and Church (order of those two intended), a multi-national, multi-language, multi-cultural and multi-religious state.


Idea of the exhibition could be stated, in short, by the words: "See,you idiots, what you lost!".

 It is made around Jewish story in Europe and Poland, with an accent to the interaction of Jewish and Polish cultures during the last Millenium.

Shown is the richness of the Jewish culture and its ability to survive, in spite of irrational hate, which was sometimes motivated by hate of "others" or just a pure...stupidity.

It was interesting to see the crowds in the museum. Obviously it is earning a good name. I would rather expect it to stay an isolated enclave in Warsaw, as I always had the feeling about the synagogue Nozyki, hidden amidst the soc-realistic buildings in a former Jewish part of the city.

Here is one of famous boxes where in synagogues was collected money for buying of tha land in Palestine:

I am curious when will this part of the history come to evaluation in modern Croatia, that we would recognize the role of Others in our history. It still has quite some time to go. I hope we will learn from those who did it wise way, as here in "Polin".

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