SIGNING OF THE AGREEMENT REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BRANCH OF THE MUSEUM OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN GDANSK. BRANCH IN TCZEW
Today, on March 26th, thanks to many years of efforts and the involvement of many parties, an agreement on cooperation between the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk and the Tczew Regional County Authority was signed at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. The document outlines the principles of cooperation that will allow for the creation of a branch of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk on a fragment of the Tczew Bridge in the future.
The history of the Tczew Bridge dates back to the 18th century. The Tczew Bridge, registered as a historic monument, is closely associated with the beginning of the period of World War II. In defense of the bridge and the city, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Riflemen took a stand. However, the bridge never fully returned to its former glory before the war.
In the planned exhibition, to be presented in the Tczew branch of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, alongside content dedicated to the entire struggles of World War II, including the heroic defense of the structure by the 2nd Battalion of Riflemen, the importance of river crossings, conducive to the defense of such objects, will also be emphasized. The exhibition will also cover the history of bridge constructions from antiquity to the 19th century.
The participants in the event included:
Prof. Grzegorz Berendt – Acting Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk
Kazimierz Smoliński - Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
Mirosław Augustyn - Tczew County Governor
Arch. Eng. Igor Strzok - Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments
The first speaker, Prof. Grzegorz Berendt – Acting Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk - stated that the signed agreement is necessary for the Museum to apply to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for funding, allowing the institution to prepare a functional and utility program for the development of the designated space. The Acting Director of the Museum also noted that thanks to the consent of the supervisory authority and the funds obtained for this purpose, the Museum will be able to fill the western abutment of the bridge, which is partially ready, and the portal, which will be created later, with museum content:
„The entire construction aspect of this project will be commissioned, implemented, and supervised by the Tczew Regional County Authority. For us, as museum professionals and historians, it remains to fill this space with the most interesting content related to the role of bridges in the military history of our civilization, and especially the story of the Tczew bridge, which was the pride of its creators in the 19th century and its history in the context of wartime experiences, from September 1st, 1939, to the spring of 1945.”
Next, Member of the Polish Parliament Kazimierz Smoliński, on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the General Conservator of Monuments, Dr. Jarosław Sellin, read out a speech in which the Deputy Minister emphasized the crucial role played by the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk in the project, as a state cultural institution responsible for disseminating knowledge about World War II, the fate of the Polish nation, and the history of Polish military formations during this period, which, according to the General Conservator of Monuments, is a guarantee to fulfil the demands for ensuring the proper protection and revitalization of the object.
Member of the Polish Parliament Kazimierz Smoliński emphasized in his statement that for Tczew, for the Tczew County, this will not only be an important local cultural institution but also a global one. He noted the importance of the investment for the region, saying that [...] its residents eagerly await the implementation of this project.
Subsequently, Tczew County Governor – Mirosław Augustyn - drew attention primarily to the visual aspect of the object and the planned branch of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk within it:
„[...] we have a beautiful model of the Tczew bridge, and we would very much like this object to look like this in the future.”
The Tczew County Governor expressed gratitude to the participants of the conference for their involvement in the project, and he particularly commended Prof. Grzegorz Berendt, Acting Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk.
The final speaker, Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, Arch. Eng. Igor Strzok, emphasized the uniqueness of the object from an architectural perspective:
„This is a particular monument, a technological marvel in 19th-century Europe. The longest, most modern, and at the same time incredibly beautiful. At that time, when building engineering structures, including objects of a de facto military nature, attention was paid to aesthetics. Hence, these beautiful neo-Gothic towers and the entire neo-Gothic romantic aesthetics of this object, which we will now be restoring.”