Herosi czy ofiary? Kapitał moralny Polaków w narracji Muzeum II Wojny Światowej w Gdańsku
Heroes or Victims? The Moral Capital of Poles in the Narrative of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk
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The author analyzes the narrative of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk using the category of moral capital, which is defined as a supply of moral stories influencing the moral status of the collective entity described as perpetrator or victim of a given event. The author considers that the decision, in 2008, to create the museum was one of the most important initiatives of Polish historical policy. From the beginning, the idea of the museum was the source of disputes, primarily concerning the shape of the Polish narrative about the war. Discussions on the subject and divisions in the political scene led to a spectacular “takeover” of the museum shortly after its opening in 2017. The management was changed and numerous alterations to the main exhibitions were made. The first version of the exhibition stressed the universalism of the experiences of civilians, including Poles, as victims of war-time terror, poverty, fear, occupation, forced labor, or extermination. After analyzing the narrative content of the exhibition opened in March 2019, the author of the article claims that in the modified version we can observe the (re)construction of a heroic narrative, aimed at reinforcing the moral capital of Poles.
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