Skip to main content

Grand opening of the “Lost Heritage” exhibition

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 09:45
Grand opening of the “Lost Heritage” exhibition

The grand opening of the temporary exhibition entitled “Lost Heritage” was held in the Museum of the Second World War. The exhibition is open to the public until 23rd June 2019 in the Temporary Exhibitions Room (level -3).

The exhibition is held under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Mr Jarosław Sellin, and the International Committee of the Blue Shield. 

The opening was participated by: Tomasz Gieszcz, Director of the Pomeranian Voivode's Office, Dawid Krupej, Adviser to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Robert Domżał, PhD, Director of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, Adam Borowiak, Director of the Adam Asnyk’s Municipal Public Library in Kalisz, Leszek Synak, Representative of the Chamber of Tax Administration in Gdańsk, Hanna Śliwa-Wielesiuk, President of the Board of the Katyń Family Association in Gdańsk, Karol Wardański, President of the Polish Association of the Former Political Prisoners of Nazi Prisons and Concentration Camps, District Management in Gdańsk, Joanna and Andrzej Gwiazda, designers and architects of Gdyby Group and many other guests.

The exhibition was formally opened by the event’s host Karol Nawrocki, PhD, Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, who addressed the guests as follows: “Barbarity and crimes woven with barbarity were present well before 1939. Meanwhile, the plan, scenario of  extermination of whole nations was something that had not happened before 1939, not at such a scale. Extermination of Poles in the autumn of 1939 constituted a scenario written much earlier, carried out by proscription lists that included the names of neighbours, real neighbours, Poles. They had been entered onto these lists by the citizens of the Second Polish Republic of German origin, who later murdered them in a horrifying manner. The plan also determined the pillage of the Polish cultural heritage during the Second World War. Karol Estreicher talked and wrote about it, distinguishing the plunder of the Second World War from the looting of all previous conflicts. These are precisely identified works of art, indicated in a way you will see also at the exhibition. There’s a 1935 picture of Adolf Hitler watching an exhibition of Polish sculptures in Berlin. K. Estreicher was shocked that the German scholars, who had put Polish works of art on their lists before 1939, plundered them after 1939. We have never managed to recover the majority of these works. 63,000 of identified works. This is the number of precisely identified works, while over 500,000 items went missing – all the collections, sculptures and paintings which had been gathered by the Polish nation throughout the centuries”.

Dawid Krupej, who represented Minister Jarosław Sellin, took the floor and read a letter addressed to the participants of the event: “The main topic of the exhibition constitutes one of the main points of the policy carried out by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Heritage in all its dimensions, starting with nonmaterial manifestations, through fixed word, works of art, architecture and ending with technology, provides a foundation of culture, which is after all the strongest tissue cementing a nation. This rudimentary role of culture was noticed by the ideologists of two most felonious political systems, which were born in the previous century – the Russian Communism and the German Nazism. They started with destroying and plundering everything in Poland that could have been connected with history and tradition and, in the future, with the development of the country. The immensity of the losses arising from this shameful practice will probably forever remain an unhealed wound of our culture,” wrote Minister Jarosław Sellin in his letter to the attendees. 

Tomasz Gieszcz took the floor on behalf of Dariusz Drelich, the Pomeranian Voivode, and drew everyone’s attention to the fact that the exhibition constitutes one of the highlights of the nationwide celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Second World War outbreak. 

Afterwards, Bartłomiej Garba, Exhibition Department Manager of the Museum, showed the guests around the exhibition.