Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

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6 Mordechaja Anielewicza St. 00-157, Warsaw, Poland - +48224710301

Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw Reviews

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315 reviews
different from the other Jewish museums/Jewish or not; it is a must-place to visit Sep 06, 2015
Am I interested in visiting the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw? My answer was "I don't need to!" Almost all Jewish Museum has one thing in common -- they can be a bit overwhelming. Please don't get me wrong, I love Jewish museums, but to absorb every information of every little piece in the exhibit, I need a full day! And, if constrained by time, I'd rather not stop over. Nonetheless, we paid a visit!

Polin, The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, is located in the former Warsaw Ghetto. Even afar, the architecture design and the facade made of glass fins is undeniably impressive! Then the lush trees punctuated in the surroundings, and the grasses that carpeted the grounds gives a pleasant look of a green square. Hence, one can hardly trace a tragic history of the Polish-Jews right in this corner.

Upon entering the foyer area, I immediately noticed some factors of paradoxes. The subdued creamy color of the ceiling and the interior walls exudes an ecclesiastical feeling, but, yet welcoming. There is a sense of mystery and yet at the same time a sense of clarity. Also, it seemed like every added feature in that room wants to unveil a meaning or a symbol.

The main museum located in the lower level of the building, as expected, are tons of exhibits and information to take. The eight galleries lies in a darkish space measuring to thousands of square meters in size. It is a challenge to fit in arrays of displays and records for only a half day visit!

The theme of the museum is the gradual narrative of the life of the early Jews who migrated to the land; "Polin." It shows the way they lived for thousands of years in Polish territory. Their history in Poland had started from the middle ages to the time of persecutions by the German Nazis and, up to the modern times. The Jews when they came to Poland; the sovereign kings and queens of this land had accepted them openly. They found favors in the eyes of this nation; thus, free to be the best they can. They flourished in what they did. They worked hard. They contributed for the benefit of their adopted country. Frankly, it is impossible to write all the details here, but click the museum's website to learn more.

The Polin Museum is unique from the rest of the Jewish Museums I've seen. Here, the Holocaust is not the main agenda but rather the contribution of the Jewish society in Poland’s history, politics, art, science and economy. The narratives are interesting, and the more I delve into the visual effects, the more I wished I have a longer time to spare. The collections of artifacts, heirlooms, relics, photographs, documents, and other memento, are carefully handpicked. And, may I also add that a large number of architectural designs to choose from, before a final selection made. The winning blueprint is the work of a multi-talented Finish architect.

The total amount of money spent to build the museum is 230 million US$! A joint effort of several sectors in Poland, and some donations from other nations handed over as well.

After the Holocaust, most Jews did not go back to Poland, but those few who embraced the country to be their home once again, have multiplied in numbers. Today, there are more than three thousand Jews who considers; Poland their home. To signify that spirit of renewal of the Jewish life in Poland, a re-created wooden rooftop of a synagogue stands at the very end corner of the museum. This wooden church roof is where the culmination of the long, and winding tour through the museum. The wooden structure is not only photogenic but also very fascinating. Jews from four corners of the world have gathered in the city of Warsaw, so, the replica could be made by hand; just like the way their forefathers had created their places of worship.

I'm glad my TravBuddy, sent me a picture of the re-created synagogue for me to see before deciding whether to go or not! Otherwise, I would have missed one of the most compelling Jewish Museum!
from afar
glass fins
12 / 12 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
nolan says:
Congratulations on your featured review, May!
Posted on: Sep 16, 2015
aloneinthecrowd says:
Belated congrats on your featured review, May :) This is very informative indeed. You did a great job as always :)
Posted on: Sep 16, 2015
KeikoCreative says:
Congrats on your featured! :)
Posted on: Sep 15, 2015
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