Imams visit the Museum
On May 21, 2013, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews had the pleasure of hosting a group of seventeen imams from different countries, accompanied by rabbis and others visiting Poland on a special tour.
The purpose of the tour, organized in Poland by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to support interreligious and intercultural dialogue and to visit places related to the Holocaust in Europe. Its main addressees are Muslim leaders from the United States and the Middle East. Before coming to Poland, the participants visited the concentration camp in Dachau (Germany). In Poland, they will visit the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, amongst other places.
After a greeting by Łucja Koch, the head of the Museum’s Education Department, and Piotr Kossobudzki, the Museum’s Press Spokesman, the guests departed for a short tour of memorial sites in the former Warsaw Ghetto. The tragic history of the Ghetto and the 1943 uprising aroused considerable interest, and Piotr Kowalik, our educator and guide, had to answer many questions. After a short tour of Muranow and the Museum itself, Dr. Tamara Sztyma-Knasiecka, curator of the exhibition “Letters to Afar”, introduced the background of the exhibition and invited the visitors for a tour.
The guests then met with Alicja Knast, CEO of the Core Exhibition, who presented the philosophy of the Core Exhibition narrative and talked about the social need for an institution of culture, telling the thousand-year history of Polish Jews, which gave rise to the creation of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The visitors then learned in detail about the shape and content of the “Holocaust” gallery, bringing many valuable comments on what in the Museum’s message might be important for Muslim visitors. They also pondered what lessons could be drawn by humankind from the tragic fate of Polish Jewry.
We would like to express special gratitude to Prof. Marshall Breger, the initiator and coordinator of the visit.