Poland's New World War II Museum Just Opened, But Maybe Not For Long

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tags: Poland, WWII, World War II Museum



There's a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Apparently, so is history.

In the case of Poland's new Museum of the Second World War, the beholder is the nationalist government. Run by the populist Law and Justice Party, it has declared the museum an expensive mess that waters down Polish history and should be closed — or at a minimum, revamped. The museum opened March 23 in the northern port city of Gdansk, where World War II began when Germany invaded the city in 1939.

"This is the museum of a war, but this is not a military museum," explains museum director and historian Pawel Machcewicz. "This is the museum which tells the story of a war in terms of politics, ideology and civil population."

The museum's goal, Machcewicz says, is to show the lives and fates of civilians and soldiers, not just in Poland but in other European countries as well. "We cannot explain Polish history without paying attention to other nations," the director said. "We are not an isolated island."




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