Professor Paweł Śpiewak about the exhibition

Jewish Historical Institute is opening the exhibition ‘Polish Art and the Holocaust’.

Wide pawelspiewak 1

The series of ‘Resistance and the Holocaust’ events commemorating the 70th anniversary of ghetto uprisings in Warsaw, Białystok and Sobibor as well as the Treblinka Revolt, the Jewish Historical Institute is opening the exhibition ‘Polish Art and the Holocaust’.

The title of the exhibition clearly suggests that what we are going to see are post-war works by Polish artists rather than the Holocaust testimonies. Why?We want to show that the Holocaust is not only the history of Jews, of Jewish fate, but it is also a part of Polish history. The Polish integrate their experience into their thinking through art. The exhibition which we are preparing is going to show this aspect of our history.

The presence of Jews in Poland is also a way of reliving by the Polish the tragedy that happened seventy years ago. How it has unfolded and lasted ever since. It ought not to be forgotten that the memory of the ghettos, the uprisings in Warsaw, Białystok and Sobibor, the Treblinka Revolt is still alive. It is alive in art and poetry. The Holocaust is the subject of one of the most interesting poems by Różewicz, Szymborska, Herbert, Miłosz, Broniewski. They relate to the death of this nation. The presence of the Holocaust is also visible in paining, architecture or film. The renowned ‘Ulica Graniczna’, the first film bringing up the subject of the Holocaust, was created in reference to the Warsaw ghetto. The Holocaust has been the topic of works by the greatest artists, such as Tadeusz Kantor, Alina Szapocznikow, Magdalena Abakanowicz or the younger generation, for instance, Zbigniew Libera or Wilhelm Sasnal. 

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