Photo Reportage from the opening of the exhibition „Alien and unpleasant.” Anti-Semitic drawings from the Polish press 1919–1939

Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and Małgorzata Omilanowska opened the exhibition „Alien and unpleasant”

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The vernissage was opened by Deputy Minister of Culture Malgorzata Omilanowska and Minister of the Interior Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz.

Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, the Minister of the Interior and Małgorzata Omilanowska, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage opened the exhibition „Alien and unpleasant” Anti-Semitic drawings from the Polish press 1919–1939. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of foreign diplomatic and cultural posts in Poland, NGOs, cultural institutions, Jewish communities and the invited guests.

„Ladies and gentlemen, I have this momentary advantage over you, that I have seen this exhibition. I looked at it with growing horror,” said Deputy Minister Małgorzata Omilanowska to the people gathered in the lobby of the Jewish Historical Institute. „Pre-war drawings showing images of Jews in a grotesque, degenerated way scare in terms of how much they are filled with hatred. The proposals how to solve the „Jewish question „, among which we see drawn figures crammed into cattle cars and exported into the unknown, allegorical scenes of suffocating Jews — they are all shocking,” continued the Deputy Minister and art historian. She pointed out that the satirists of that time did not have the knowledge we have now. The artists publishing graphics in the press in the 1920s and 30s did not know that the Holocaust could happen, that the promoted hatred could cause so much tragedy and crime. „This is an important lesson of history and a very important exhibition, which should be seen by as many people as possible,” concluded the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, the Minister of the Interior, warned against the mechanisms of hatred which recurred throughout the history, and which over the centuries have repeatedly been aimed at people different from the majority of the society. The Minister emphasized that we had to fight against xenophobia to prevent another activation of the evil machine, and the role of the Ministry of the Interior is to be a guard between freedom and order.

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