Museum intrigues and attracts

Steven A. Schwarzman, the head of a leading investment fund on Wall Street, Wojciech Fibak and U.S. Ambassador Lee Feinstein are just some of the many recent Museum visitors.

The Museum is visited by more and more people intrigued by its innovative concept and the original building being erected in front of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial. This place has always been a must for anyone seeking the traces of memory of the Holocaust and the history of Jewish life in Warsaw. Today, because of the emerging Museum, the number of visitors is growing.

Steven A. Schwarzman, the head of Blackstone Group, a leading investment fund on Wall Street, visited the Museum in early April along with his wife, Christine Hearst Schwarzman. Blackstone Group controls companies valued at $100 billion, and Steven Schwarzman ranks 69th on the list of wealthiest Americans. His family has been living in the U.S. for four generations, but his great-grandparents and grandmother were born in Galicia, from where they emigrated to the United States in the late nineteenth century. Interest in the Museum was one of the reasons for the Schwarzman family’s first ever visit to Poland, the purpose of which was aimed at both – business and desire to learn more about the family history. The visitors were acquainted with the Museum building and the history of Polish Jews by, among others, Museum Director Jerzy Halbersztadt and Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, head of the international team designing the Museum’s main exhibition.

“I can see that an extraordinary museum is being created here, one of the most interesting modern museums in the world,” said Steven Schwarzman, who is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Further meetings are scheduled with his participation, already in the U.S. Wojciech Fibak, who was also present during the visit, said that “the guests were absolutely delighted with Poland and very impressed with Warsaw and Krakow. Becoming acquainted with the Museum project was for them one of the most interesting events and we repeatedly talked about this in the following days.”

A dozen or so days later, U.S. Ambassador Lee Feinstein acquainted himself with the state of work on the Museum buliding directly on the construction site. “I am impressed with the fast progress of the construction of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. It will be a world class institution and lasting tribute to Jewish heritage and culture in Poland, and to culture which Polish Jews created here in the course of nearly 1000 years.” – said Ambassador Feinstein, whose family also comes from Galicia.