Mikołaj Grynberg and Wilhelm Sasnal in the Core Exhibition

From 11 July, we invite you to come to POLIN Museum to visit the Core Exhibition and see the new arrangement of its last section which focuses on Jewish life in Poland today.

1000-year long history of Polish Jews did not end with the Holocaust, or with the waves of postwar emigration. When we were opening the Core Exhibition, it seemed that, post-1989, a bright and safe future awaited the Polish society, along with all the minorities that constitute it. Is that still true today? What do Polish Jews think, how do they feel about it? We strive to answer this question in the new arrangement of the last section of POLIN Core Exhibition which deals with the Jewish life in today’s Poland.

Designers from the WWAA studio created a symbolic house where the visitors to the Core Exhibition will be able to watch Mikołaj Grynberg’s film titled Who We Are. The director asks Polish Jews who they are and what kind of a home Poland is for them. The subtle interplay of colour is of major importance—blue refers to the natural dye used in the Antiquity to produce a talit—Jewish prayer shawl. The dye was obtained from a Mediterranean snail called chilazon in Aramaic.

Silver is the second dominant colour. Silver walls of the house reflect the clouds, echoing the painting by Wilhelm Sasnal visible through the window. We look at the Polish landscape with a disturbing element in it—a concentration camp tower. Debates on the memory of the difficult Holocaust history and the postwar period continue to affect contemporary Polish-Jewish relations. In his painting, Wilhelm Sasnal points to the traces of this past in the Polish landscape and its impact on the awareness of the country’s residents. Following in the artist’s footsteps, we want to ask to what extent does the memory of the past shape our present, and what will the landscape of Polish-Jewish relations look like in the future?

The new arrangement of the last section of the Core Exhibition is an element of the program for POLIN Museum’s 10th birthday, which we will celebrate in the fall. 

The refurbishment of the last section of the Postwar gallery was possible thanks to the support of the Capital City of Warsaw, Association  Européenne du Musée de l'Histoire des Juifs de Pologne POLIN, and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.