POLIN Museum Director’s statement regarding cooperation with Baza by Inclusive.Buzz

Fasada budynku od strony skwery Willy'ego Brandta - ściana z ogromnym oknem, którego kształt naśladuje zarys drzewa.
fot. W. Kryński / Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

Intercultural dialogue and building bridges between communities are key values for POLIN Museum. We are fully aware of how many times Jews experienced violence and exclusion during their over thousand-year presence in Poland—which is why we want to do everything we possibly can to contribute to the creation of an open and inclusive society, also through our program activities. Collaboration with Baza by Inclusive.Buzz, an organization supporting people with refugee, wartime, and immigrant experiences from all across the globe, is an expression of this concern.

Cooperation with the non-governmental sector does not mean that we support all actions and public statements made by their representatives. We do not shy away from criticizing some of their actions; indeed, we ourselves sometimes become the subject of critical remarks from their side. However, we deeply believe in the role of dialogue—only by engaging in interactions and dialogue can we present our position, fight misinformation, present facts, and make activists sensitive to other points of view. Dialogue does involve risk at times, but, above all, it offers an opportunity.

At this point, we must clearly stress that there is no and never will be a place among our partners for organizations that express support for terrorists such as Hamas—responsible for the death of hundreds of people, sanctioned by the European Union, who have kidnapped and still hold hostage our relatives and friends from Israel.

At the same time, our mission will always revolve around the story of the Jewish life in the Polish lands, listening attentively to the voices of Jews living in Poland today. That is why, in July 2024, we are open a rotating, vibrant, polyphonic space in one of the galleries of the POLIN Core Exhibition for the contemporary Jewish artists to express themselves. The space’s motto are the words of Marian Turski spoken on behalf of the Jews living in Poland: "We are here." This phrase serves as a reminder of a multicultural history and, above all, it draws attention to the intercultural present, co-created and experienced by Jews.

Our colleagues responsible for organizing the event have already spoken with the representatives of Baza and asked them to be more alert with regard to the content they share (which in the past might have been shared without them being aware of its deeper meaning and gravity). Baza, on their part, assured us that they would verify the content they share with greater caution.