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2008 | 49 | 217-226

Article title

A FORGOTTEN COMMUNITY - FOR ARRANGING A MUSEUM AT OSWIECIM CASTLE (Zapomniana spolecznosc - koncepcja aranzacji Muzeum na Zamku w Oswiecimiu)


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The text considers arranging a permanent exposition at Oswiecim Castle. The year 2006 marked the completion of a complex restoration of the building, with the sole exception of the Piastowska Tower, still under repair. Protection over the historical edifice and collections has been entrusted to the Oswiecim Culture Centre, in which the municipal authorities plan to open a town museum. The realised conception is the outcome of the authoress' conviction that Oswiecim is a town with an interesting and long history dating back to the twelfth century, and has been particularly adversely affected by the Second World War. KL Auschwitz, established by the Nazis in 1940, was the site of the death of more than a million inmates; unfortunately, it has also cast a shadow on the city, which from that time is always (and incorrectly) associated with genocide. The proposed exhibition will depict the history of the town by stressing the harmonious coexistence of two groups of Poles - Roman Catholics and Jews, a phenomenon frequent also in other Polish localities. The exposition, whose initial premises are discussed in the text, will portray the parallel character of the private and social life of both communities. Special showrooms will feature two exhibitions illustrating the foundations of the religiosity of both groups, their places of residence, and intellectual and cultural life. The exhibits will also depict the progress of industry and commerce in pre-war Oswiecim, and reflect various social and sports organisations of the period as well as a rapidly developing school system. The planned museum is to be granted a conspicuous educational aspect. Apart from providing an opportunity for acquainting the visitors - especially the younger generations - with the conditions and qualities of life in Oswiecim prior to the Holocaust, it should also popularise the conviction that all accusations of anti-Semitism or anti-Polish feelings in Polish lands were, as a rule, not legitimised although such attitudes did take place. The text postulates a further expansion of the museum in Oswiecim - possibly by means of additional buildings - so as to create a complex museum of a small county town, illustrating and study







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  • Katarzyna Baranska, no data


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