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Special screening of “Gdańsk 1939” documentary

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 14:32
Special screening of “Gdańsk 1939” documentary / fot. M. Bujak

Special screening of “Gdańsk 1939” documentary was held at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. The documentary directed by Grzegorz Karbowski depicts the events of 1939 in Gdańsk and their genesis referring, amongst others, to the establishment of the Free City of Gdańsk and its Nazification in the 1930s. Free screenings of the film for the public will be held in the Museum Cinema on the 22nd, 24th and 29th of November 2019.

Production- and content-wise, “Gdańsk 1939” is a classic documentary - there are no extended animations or quasi-documentary scenes. Vast majority of the film consists of accounts of witnesses and comments provided by historians - researchers of the history of the Free City of Gdańsk and WW2. The production was enriched with unique archival materials: photographs and recordings showing the Free City of Gdańsk, life and fate of Poles in Gdańsk, as well as growing terror arising from NSDAP taking control over the city, and finally - first days of September 1939.

On behalf of the Director, Karol Nawrocki, PhD, Maciej Badowicz, Deputy Head of the Department of Communication and Promotion of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, welcomed the guests coming to the special screening in the Museum Cinema. Professor Grzegorz Berendt, PhD, Deputy Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, said that “Gdańsk 1939” was realised within the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2:

It is one of 14 projects carried out by the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk in 2019 in association with the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2. We’re going back to those events, to what had preceded the first shots from the 1st of September 1939, firstly because we owe it to the witnesses, and secondly because the witnesses are leaving for a different reality and the post-war generation is now somewhat obliged to pass the relay of information about this disaster. About what happened to the Polish citizens and to the Polish minority in Gdańsk then. Also passing the information about those, who had lived in Gdańsk for generations, even since the times of the First Polish Republic, but also about what hit those Poles and other citizens of Poland, who had come to the Free City of Gdańsk after 1919, and in even greater numbers in the wake of the proclamation of the Free City of Gdańsk on the 15th of November 1920. We didn’t pick this day for the preview of the film by accident.

More information on the Free City of Gdańsk

The Museum of the Second World War was the producer of “Gdańsk 1939”, while Video Studio Gdańsk was its executive producer. Professor Grzegorz Berendt, PhD, thanked the film makers for the cooperation in making the documentary:

We, the Museum, did our best to help, inform, provide materials, but certain vision, skill, virtuosity, craftsmanship to make the film appealing for the viewers - it’s first and foremost the achievement of the experts from the industry. (...) We hope that you will recognise this effect of common work of film makers, museum experts and historians.

Short film “1939. Pamięć i przesłanie” (“1939. Memory and Message”) was screened before “Gdańsk 1939”. It is a modern view on the 1939 events and the voice of current generations consolidating the memory of the struggle and suffering of the Polish nation during WW2. Short film “1939. Memory and Message” is available for watching HERE. Deceased witnesses to history, whose memoirs were recalled in the film, and who died before the film’s premiere, were honoured with a minute of silence.