Sunday, January 29, 2017

Gdansk WW II Museum Not Polish Enough, PiS Claims

Source
The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk was meant to be the first museum to tell the full story of WW II and to focus on victims, not military campaigns.

The currently ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) objects to the museum because it is not Polish enough. The fate of the museum is now uncertain.

The Associated Press reports:

The nationalist authorities governing the country believe the museum should focus on the uniqueness of Poland's tragedy and not be watered down by exploring the fate of other nations. A key spokesman for this idea, historian Jan Zaryn, who is also a senator for the ruling party, complains that the multinational approach taken by the museum makes it more difficult for the visitor to see "our exceptionality."

He argues that Poland should create something comparable to what Holocaust museums have achieved for Jews.

"After decades of silence there should be a museum that introduces the phenomenon and specificity of the Polish historical experience," Zaryn said in a televised discussion in October. "We should do something like what the Jewish community has done, which managed to arrange around the Holocaust all the other events of World War II."

But the museum's creators and supporters insist that the very act of placing Poland's history in the broader context is what will help foreign visitors understand and appreciate the specificity of Poland's tragedy.

"Sometimes when politicians look at the museum like this they don't understand how much conceptual work there was," said Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who is a member of the museum's advisory board.


"If this museum is lost, Gdansk, Poland, Europe, the world, loses the only chance we have for an experience of public history, for people from all of the world, not only in Poland, to understand the Second World War. That would be a dreadful civilizational loss."

1 comment:

  1. What is this world coming to? The Poles having a museum, in Poland at that, actually telling about THEIR sufferings and without anyone else telling them what they can and cannot say. What a bizarre and radical notion!

    "After decades of silence there should be a museum that introduces the phenomenon and specificity of the Polish historical experience," Zaryn said in a televised discussion in October. "We should do something like what the Jewish community has done, which managed to arrange around the Holocaust all the other events of World War II."

    Bravo, Jan Zaryn! It's about time!

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