Newsletter Autumn 2018

Autumn 2018

 La version française se trouve ici

European Association of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN

  • Closing of the exhibition on March 68, sponsored by the AEMJP, at the POLIN Museum
  • Reminder: all the events organized by the AEMJP to accompany the exhibition
  • Polish Politics
  • News from the POLIN Museum
  • In Memoriam

Closing of the exhibition on March 68
Stranger at home – Obcy w domu

We are incredibly proud to have supported the exhibition devoted to the Jewish exodus from Poland in March 1968. We are grateful to all of you who shared these moments with us.

The exhibition took place in a difficult moment from the point of view of Polish-Jewish relations, and its political impact is still difficult to measure. Reminding of one of the darkest moments of Polish history, where the government forced more than 15,000 Jews to leave the country in 1968-1969, both opens new dialogues and yet also creates risks of new conflicts about the interpretation of the past.

Yet many miracles did happen. Warsaw has physically changed – new graffiti and posters of various events reminding of March 68 made it impossible for anyone to remain indifferent. The scandal that happened 50 years ago was stated and heard, mostly by young Poles who refuse to remain indifferent.
We are soon going to engage in other projects with the POLIN Museum, involving among others a new gallery, which will extend the permanent exhibition. We will let you know more about it soon.

Audience success

Since the opening ceremony of the POLIN Museum in 2014, the Warsaw-based institution never experienced such a crowd!
This exhibition was the biggest audience success in the history of the POLIN Museum, and it has attracted a record number of over 110,000 visitors.

Rare beauty and haunting spectres

It was not an ordinary exhibition. The space was arranged in an unusual way, the huge screen with movies by Tadeusz Konwicki gave a unique feeling of time travelling. Art and difficult historical truth genuinely met in POLIN Museum.

Personal engagement

The exhibition curators, Justyna Koszarska-Szulc (historian) and Natalia Romik (architect) could not believe it when they saw the line for tickets.


Final auction and creation of new culinary and political bridges

The exhibition ended with an auction of the classic Polish furniture (armchairs in particular) on display. Funds were donated to the « Kitchen of Conflict » (Kuchnia Konfliktu), a Warsaw-based restaurant project allowing the inhabitants of Warsaw to discover dishes of the countries from which refugees and migrants came to the Polish capital.
It offers the opportunity to create meaningful relationships between the migrants and the local population, but also creates jobs for both locals and foreigners.



European Association of Friends of POLIN (AEMJP)

The AEMJP sponsored the exhibition and organized a series of accompanying events.

Movie screening at Beit Hatfutsot: Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv on June 4, 2017

The very first March 68-related event organized by the AEMJP, in collaboration with Beit Hatfutsot was a movie screening (Gdanski Railway Station, 2007, by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Teresa Torańska) and a discussion with Polish Jews living in Israel expelled from Poland in 1968-1969.
Read more… 

The conference at the Tel Aviv University, March 18, 2018

The AEMJP, in collaboration with the Institute for the History of Polish Jewry, the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and the Racism and the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, all from Tel Aviv University organized an exceptional conference. It was dedicated to both the fiftieth anniversary of the March 1968 events and the exhibition at the POLIN Museum.
Read more… 

The conference at the Sorbonne University in Paris, April 11, 2018

The third event organized by the AEMJP devoted to the March 1968 exodus, took place in Paris, at the Sorbonne University. Organized with the assistance of the Centre of Polish Civilization at Sorbonne, the event included a movie screening (Gdanski Railway Station, 2007, by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Teresa Torańska) and a discussion between young scholars and Polish Jews who were expelled from Poland in 1968-1969.

The conference in Nancy, France, May 6, 2018

The AEMJP organized a conference on the « Unbearable Absence and the Reaffirmation of the Jewish Life in Poland Today » (L’insupportable absence et la réaffirmation d’une vie juive en Pologne aujourd’hui),with the support of the University of Lorraine, Jewish Cultural Association of Nancy and the Polish Consul in Nancy, The event was organized in a prestigious venue – the main conference room of the Nancy Town Hall, and attracted a wide audience. The AEMJP meeting inaugurated a « May of Europe », annual series of events welcomed by the Town Council of Nancy.
Read more… 

Polish Politics

Local elections in Warsaw: the city remains liberal

A young pro-European Rafał Trzaskowski won Warsaw mayoral race in local elections on October 21, 2018, preserving the party’s control of the capital city. As the POLIN Museum is the first public-private partnership institution in Poland, created by the Ministry of Culture, City of Warsaw, and the Association of the Jewish Historical institute of Poland, these results are reassuring as far as further cooperation between the Museum and the City are concerned.
Several other major cities chose their mayors in the first round of elections, Jacek Jaśkowiak in Poznan, Hanna Zdanowska in Lodz, Krzysztof Żuk in Lublin among others (all pro-European). The overall national score was nevertheless favorable to the Conservative party PiS

POLIN Museum and Jewish Warsaw

Estranged Exhibition – “Obcy w domu”

March 9 — September 24, 2018

The European Association of POLIN – Museum of the History of Polish Jews was proud to be the main patron of the exhibition “Estranged: March ’68 and Its Aftermath”, which opened in the POLIN Museum: It explained the causes and the course of the anti-Semitic campaign that culminated in the expulsion of about 13,000 Poles of Jewish descent from Poland at that time.

Not only did the “March 68” exhibition get unanimous praise from the press, but it is also an unexpected success among its audience. Indeed, as it was vehemently attacked by the Polish “patriotic” media, thousands of Poles visited it as a sign of protest against unacceptable anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli attitudes present in the public space.

This exhibition was aesthetically unique as it included a metaphorical installation reflecting upon the 1960’s atmosphere of Warsaw’s Gdański Railway Station. The departure hall of the railway station was a space for saying goodbye to Poland, where visitors were able to listen to oral history. Separate sections described the life of refugees after leaving Poland.

First Jewish Food Festival

From 26th to 30th September, the Polin Museum organized Warsaw’s first Jewish food festival TISH (Yiddish for table). Dozens of restaurants and bars across the capital served traditional Jewish food.
The TISH festival presented a contemporary view of Jewish culinary traditions, with food being a starting point for stories about Jewish life and characters in Poland – now and then.
Read more…

Theatre in POLIN Museum: “Dawid goes to Israel”

The theatre play דוד נוסע לישראל – Dawid goes to Israel by Jędrzej Piaskowski and Hubert Sulima is a theatrical fantasy referring to the centuries-old history and culture of Jews in Poland, and can be seen in the POLIN Museum during October and December.
The performance begins with an attempt to reconstruct the atmosphere of March 1968 and its anti-Semitic campaign. Polish parents bringing up an adopted boy decide to restore his previously hidden Jewish identity. Their struggles with the prevailing narratives and stereotypes regarding Polish-Jewish relations ultimately lead to an extraordinary solution.

Isaac Bashevis Singer Festival in Warsaw

For the last 15 years, the Warsaw summer ends with Isaac Bashevis Singer Festival. This year’s edition was particularly international and multicultural, and included many young artists.

It lasted 9 days, included over 200 events, covering music, theatre, mixing styles and trends, all inspired by Jewish culture, both traditional and contemporary.

Webpage of the Festival

In Memoriam

We mourn the passing of Marceline Loridan-Ivens, a French writer and film director, born to Polish Jewish parents who immigrated to France in 1919. She started a life-long friendship with Simone Veil during their tragic stay in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

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