POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews | Attraction Guides | History Hit

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Warsaw, Poland

Luke Tomes

27 Apr 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a museum on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto which documents and celebrates the 1000 year history of the Jewish community in Poland.

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews history

The idea to create the Museum of the History of Polish Jews originated at the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute and gradually garnered widespread approval both in Poland and abroad. In 1995, with the support of individual and institutional donors, work on the project of the Museum began and continued – as a social initiative – until 2005.

On 25 January 2005, long-term efforts of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland finally bore fruit. On that day, on the initiative of then Mayor of Warsaw Lech Kaczyński, the Museum was formally established as a public-private partnership of the Association of JHI, the City of Warsaw, and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The building opened and the museum began its educational and cultural programs on 19 April 2013, on the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. During the 18 months that followed, more than 180,000 visitors toured the building, visited the first temporary exhibitions, and took part in cultural and educational programs and events, including film screenings, debates, workshops, performances, concerts, and lectures. The Grand Opening, with the completed Core Exhibition, took place on 28 October 2014.

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews today

The POLIN Museum is a modern institution of culture, a historical museum which presents the 1000 years of Jewish life in the Polish lands. The museum restores the memory of their rich culture and heritage.

Before you start your tour, pay attention to the building itself, which conceals many symbols and meanings, for example: the main hall “cuts” the museum building from the underground to the roof, symbolising the crack in the history of Polish Jews caused by the Holocaust.

The museum’s collection is made up of objects of unique artistic and historical value, including artworks, from the 18th century engravings of Jean-Pierre Norblin to the work of modern artists such as Ewa Kuryluk, Ryszard Horowitz and Tadeusz Rolke; handicrafted artifacts, especially those that bear testimony to Jewish religion and culture: Chanukah lamps, ataras, parochet, kiddush cups and so on.

Memorabilia form the largest part of the collection, including photographs, postcards, printed matter, ephemera, personal and historical documents, gramophone records and items of use, often connected to incredible, moving stories told by those who donated them. The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Getting to POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The address of the museum is 6 Anielewicza Street, 00-157 Warsaw, Poland. On weekends visitors can use the museum carpark on Anielewicza Street, spaces permitting.

If travelling by bus take the 111 or 180 to the bus stop ‘Nalewki Muzeum’ (roughly 200 metres away from the Museum entrance). By tram, take the 18, 15, 35 lines to Muranów stop (roughly 500 metres away from the Museum entrance) or the 17, 33 lines to Anielewicza stop (roughly 500 metres away from the Museum entrance). If travelling by subway, exit at Ratusz Arsenał station (roughly 1 km away from the Museum entrance).

If you are travelling to the museum from Warsaw Central railway station, take the tram line 17, 33, 37 or 41 towards Żoliborz and exit at Anielewicza.

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