In Poland 1 September is not only about the first day of school but also it is a subsequent anniversary of the outbreak of the World War 2. It is considered to be one of the most tragic events in history which resulted in death of tens of millions of people and took its toll on those who survived. A lot of people heroically suffered death in order to protect the independency of future Polish generations. Therefore, currently almost in every little corner of Poland there are memorial sites or museums created in remembrance of those dramatic moments. Below, the most important World War 2 Museums in Poland are described.
W esterplatte is the peninsula in Gda?sk where it all began on 1 September 1939. It is a particular place of remembrance with the symbolic Monument of Coast Defenders, carved with reliefs and inscriptions, placed on the custom-built mound. Here, there are also a poignant writing “NO MORE WAR” (in Polish), the grave and memorials of Polish fallen defenders, barrack ruins and the building of a former guardhouse (currently seating an exposition).
World War 2 Museum in Gda?sk
Newly opened institution (in 2017), in Gda?skis one of the largest and most modern interactive World War 2 Museums in Europe which makes a huge impression from its very entrance. A contemporary building in a particular shape, located only 3 km from the Westerplatte Peninsula, features above 2,000 exhibits, hundreds of photographs, interactive stands with films and interviews, reconstructions of streets with the ruins of buildings, as well as a special exhibition adapted to children. Interestingly, the main exhibition is located underground and placed in several rooms, and tells the story not only of Poland, but also other countries taking part in the conflict what attracts the attention of tourist from all over the world.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
While visiting Polish capital city, one should stop in the Warsaw Uprising Museum which from its opening in 2004 has been one of the most popular museums in Poland. It is a modern, interactive World War 2 Museum in Poland, telling the story of one the greatest events in history of Poland which was the Warsaw Uprising. The museum is so interestingly designed that it captivates its visitors from the very entrance. An unusual scenery with cobbled streets, tunnels, debris or replicas of a plane or bunkers, makes you feel like a participant of those events. An impressive thing here is a steel monument with the dates of subsequent days of the uprising and traces of bullets. While visiting the museum, visitors collect pages of the calendar presenting the uprising actions day after day.
B eing in Warsaw, it is also worth visiting a small village Palmiry (ca. 24 km from Warsaw) which is a memorial site with the museum devoted to the victims of mass executions carried out by Nazis on the premises of Kampinos Forest.
If there is a problem with finding it, tourist may use help of Travel Agency Warsaw
It has to be mentioned that not only soldiers lost their lives during the war, but also civilian population who was transported in cramped freighters to concentration camps. In Poland, German Nazis created as many as 9 such death camps. One of the world-famous such places and the biggest one in Poland is Auschwitz-Birkenau which currently is the memorial site and national museum, included in the UNESCO’s list and opened for visitors on complimentary basis. The museum includes not only authentic buildings, but also thousands of personal belongings of camp’s prisoners, including shoes, suitcases, clothes or even dishes as well as some of Nazis’ stuff.
A nother well-preserved camp to visit is Stutthof, in the coastal village of Sztutowo, which was created thanks to the endeavours of its former prisoners. On the premises, one can see both authentic and reconstructed buildings (including gas chambers or crematoriums), some private belongings of the incarcerated, a memorial monument or watch some documentary films. Other World War 2 Museums in Poland, created in concentration camps are those in Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibór or Be??ec. All these places are probably the most tactile and poignant testimony of the events from 1939-1945.
Memorial to Jews
Speaking about the memorial sites of WW2 in Poland, it is scarcely possible not to mention the sites of Jewish memory. For example, in Warsaw, one can find the unusual POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (built on the premises of the ghetto), the Warsaw Ghetto Museum with fragments of the wall of the former ghetto, as well as numerous monuments and memorials to Holocaust. In Cracow, you should definitely see the Galicja Jewish Museum, the Schindler’s Factory or take a walk in Kazimierz quarter.
The places mentioned are only examples of World War 2 Museums in Poland. As already mentioned, in almost every Polish city it is not difficult to find, for example, a monument, a commemorative plaque or the grave of an unknown soldier. If you want to delve into this dark, but also fascinating period of history, it is worth coming to Poland with the help of the Polish Travel Agency. It is important to visit these remarkable places to keep the memory of our ancestors who experienced the atrocities of war.