A new museum will be set up in the centre of the Polish capital by 2023 to show the World War II story of the Warsaw ghetto, top government officials announced on Wednesday.
The museum will be housed in a building that was once home to a hospital within the confines of the local ghetto.
The new Warsaw Ghetto Museum, on Sienna Street near the city’s main railway station, will honour the “tragic act” of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto insurgents, who “fought for [their] dignity under hopeless circumstances,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters.
The Warsaw ghetto, established in the autumn of 1940, was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe. In the summer of 1942, at least a quarter of a million of its residents were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp.
Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said the new museum would be a modern institution designed to educate the public about the Warsaw ghetto as well as other ghettos and the Holocaust in general.
“I hope it will also be a symbol of Polish-Jewish brotherhood and solidarity,” Gliński said at a joint news conference with Morawiecki. He added that the new museum would above all aim to “present the historical truth.”
Meanwhile, Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in October 2014, welcomed its millionth visitor a few months ago.
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews documents the millennium-old history of Polish Jews and their contribution to various aspects of Polish political, economic and cultural life. It is located at the site of the former Jewish ghetto, just opposite the Monument to the Heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The announcement of the plan to set up the new Warsaw Ghetto Museum comes amid strained ties between Poland and Israel over a Polish anti-defamation law.