The end of the war brought different consequences for the different European nations. For the Germans, it represented a disaster and the collapse of the regime which most of them had supported for 12 years. For Western Europe, it brought freedom and a return to democracy, while the Soviet Union gained hegemony over half of the continent and the position of a world power. What did the year 1945 mean for the Poles?
This exhibition consists of 45 items or sets of items associated with the end of the Second World War. They originate from the Polish lands or lands linked with the fate of the Poles, and, as such, they illustrate predominantly the east and central European experience. Sometimes they tell stories of specific people and places and sometimes they are simply typical of their times. Although some have been divided into thematic groups, we decided not to set any specific order in which they should be viewed, allowing visitors to make their own choices. Based on this, visitors can form their own judgements about the final weeks of the war and the beginnings of the new order. We hope that our exhibition is an inspirational incentive to reflect on the complexity of historical events and phenomena associated with the end of the war in this part of Europe, and the ambiguities of their outcomes.
Piotr M. Majewski
Temporary exhibition prepared by Museum of the Second World War is presented in European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, plac Solidarności 1 (Solidarity Square).
Script: Professor Paweł Machcewicz, Dr Piotr M. Majewski
Curators: Professor Paweł Machcewicz, Dr Piotr M. Majewski, Oliwia Gałka, Łukasz Jasiński, Marcin Westphal
Scientific consultation: Dr Janusz Marszalec, Professor Rafał Wnuk
Cooperation and selection of the exhibits: Dr Szymon Bednarz, Ewelina Dragosz, Bartłomiej Garba, Wojciech Łukaszun, Joanna Raftopulos, Kamil Rutecki, Artur Wodzyński
Translation: Jerzy Giebułtowski, Maja Łatyńska
Photos of artefacts: Star Pixels Dominik Jagodziński
Exhibition design: Studio Potorska
Exhibition is available in European Solidarity Centre in opening ours
admission during the conference | 6–7 May free
admission 8 May–15 September | with a ticket to the Centre’s permanent exhibition, 5 zlotys (regular), or 2,5 zlotys (discount)