P10 Museo del alzamiento de Varsovia, Polonia / Uprising Warsaw Museum, Poland (bilingual post)

En el Museo del alzamiento de Varsovia me cuestioné durante toda la visita: “¿Cómo afrontar el pasado?” Estar en Varsovia, Polonia siendo argentina y viviendo en Luxemburgo me hace ver todo de una manera distinta. El Museo trata la historia de Polonia de a . Es como una línea de tiempo que si dibujada sobre un papel, uno podría caminarla palmo a palmo. Polonia es un puzzle reconstruido.

El movimiento de gente es incesante. Hay personas de todas las edades.

Hubo conceptos como “abrir cajones”, “escuchar cartas leídas”, “hablar por teléfono” (escuchando historias y/o hechos importantes), que me recordaron a acciones mías y a de cuando era chica.
En el Museo hay valijas de inmigrante, hay armarios, hay representaciones de tumba. Hay realidad cruel.

La foto del ticket de entrada (sin saber de quién es en primera instancia) muestra una mujer sonriente, aunque sucia y despeinada. Lleva puesto un uniforme desgastado y cerca de su cuello se observa la bandera de Polonia bordada sobre la tela desteñida.

Al salir, hojeé el libro de visitas y vi mucho escrito en polaco. De lo escrito en idiomas que pude entender, la mayoría escribía cosas como “queridos amigos polacos”, etc.

Corina Moscovich

At the Uprising Warsaw Museum I questioned myself during the whole visit the following: “How do we approach the past?” To be in Warsaw, Poland being Argentinian but living in Luxembourg, makes me see everything in a different way. The Museum deals with the history of Poland from A to Z. It is like a timeline that, if drawn on a paper, one could walk on it inch by inch. Poland is a rebuilt puzzle.

The movement of people does not stop. There are people from all ages.

There were concepts like “opening drawers”, “listen to written letters” (being read), “talking on the phone” (listening to important stories or facts) which reminded me of some of my own actions when I was a child.

At the Museum there are immigrant suitcases, wardrobes, tumbs, and representations. There is a cruel reality.

The picture of the entrance ticket (without knowing who is the person in the first place) shows a smiling woman, although dirty and with messy hair. She is wearing a worn out uniform and around her next it is possible to spot the flag of Poland, sewed over a colourless cloth.

When leaving the Museum, I had a quick look at the guest book and I a saw a lot written in Polish. From what was written in languages I could understand, most of the visitors wrote something like “my dear Polish friends”, etc.

Corina Moscovich

P9 Majdanek (KL Lublin), Poland

Majdanek (KL Lublin), now a Museum, is located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin, Poland.
I have heard, read and watched so much about the Holocaust. I have visited so many museums in different countries. To visit this place (hard for me to call it Museum), was something I wanted to do and planned to do it while making my itinerary trip to Poland. I was lucky because I did the visit with a local historian during a summer sunny day. If you think of visiting this place in winter think twice.
I chose Majdanek and not any other camp because I wanted to go through the experience without having tourists around all the time. I guess it was a smart decision.
 “The pedagogy of remembrance is the basis for the educational work of the State Museum at Majdanek. It involves active learning and familiarization with history at an authentic place”.
 The State Museum at Majdanek was founded in November 1944. It is therefore the first martyrdom museum and the oldest memorial to the victims of Nazism in Europe at the site of a former German concentration camp. The institution protects the places and artifacts connected with the functioning of the camp at Majdanek and the extermination centers in Belzec and Sobibor, and conducts exhibition, scientific, and educational work.
 In total, the Museum collections number almost 350 thousands artifacts.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

In barracks 47, “Shrine” (sacred place) is a symbolic artistic installation (by Tadeusz Mysłowski) to pay tribute to anonymous victims of Majdanek. 
 Combining such elements as sculpture, drawing, text and music, it creates a specific “light and sound” performance inside a historic barracks. There are fifty balls made of barbed wire that you can still see despite the dark lights. 
 The artistic forms are completed with atmospheric music accompanied by the sound of quiet prayers of different religions and Majdanek prisoners´ reminiscences in various languages.
Yes, “Shrine” is a tough but still beautiful experience. The best is when you go out and you see a striking blue sky and you breathe fresh air before moving on to the next barracks.  

Polish, Hebrew and English can be found in almost every explanation board. 
Final view before leaving... The Mausoleum erected in 1969 contains ashes and remains of cremated victims, collected into a mound after liberation of the camp in 1944.

Corina Moscovich