The Warsaw Ghetto Museum will be an institution that provides a comprehensive and authentic testimony of the events and the people forced to inhabit the Warsaw ghetto. Its purpose will be to present the tragic events that took place during the German occupation of Poland, during the Second World War, and to honour the memory of those who lived and suffered in the ghetto.
Warsaw was the location of the largest ghetto in the entire German-occupied Europe. In April 1941, it held over 400,000 people, restricted to an area of approximately three sq. km.
The exhibition will be unique in so far as will explore the personal dilemmas and tragedies faced by those confined to the ghetto in the location where they occurred. Additionally, the museum will analyse the unprecedented and previously unimaginable developments, such as the murder of an entire segment of the population and the destruction of a European capital, which elicited such diverse reactions by the population of Warsaw, Jewish and non-Jewish. The institution will present the circumstances of the deportation of the majority of Warsaw’s Jewish residents to the Treblinka extermination camp. In addition, the exhibition will disclose the identities of the Nazi perpetrators of those crimes, and examine the ramifications of the German propaganda and war machine. Bent on complete destruction of the ghetto, the Germans annihilated nearly 400,000 Jews.
The building designated as the museum seat is that of the former Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital at 60 Sienna Street, located within the confines of the former Warsaw ghetto, in close proximity to the remaining fragment of the ghetto’s separating wall. Funded by the Polish government, the museum will be established in one of the few pre-war buildings remaining within the parameters of the former ghetto, and is destined to become a hallmark of the former Jewish Warsaw, next to the surviving landmarks such as the Nożyk Synagogue, the Jewish Historical Institute building and the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery.
Using extensive archival material compiled by a team of historians and experts, we will present Warsaw residents and the general public with personal testimonies of Warsaw ghetto inhabitants, artefacts and the timeline of events that led to the heroic uprising of 1943 and ended in the total destruction of the ghetto, and the annihilation of its inhabitants. We will preserve for future generations the memory of the victims and the crimes of the German perpetrators. Through the museum exhibition and its educational programme will attempt to overcome historical stereotypes and prejudices.