“Witness of history: Bersohn and Bauman Hospital in Warsaw” is the first exhibition prepared by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.
The outdoor photographic exhibition on the railing of the former children’s hospital building – the future seat of the museum – summoned the history of the place. Opened in July 2018, the exhibition contributed to the commemoration of the 76th anniversary of deportation of Warsaw Jews to extermination camps.The 51 Śliska and 60 Sienna Street hospital was founded by two Jewish families, who became its patrons. It served children of all faiths. Among many physicians of note, Janusz Korczak worked there. The place was a scene of dramatic wartime events; the hospital was located in the Warsaw ghetto. After the war, it continued to fulfil its medical function until its absorption into the Dziekanów Leśny Children’s Hospital in 2000. 20 plates tell this story curated by Dr. Ewa Toniak, a historian and art critic.
The exhibition opening of 23 July 2018 was attended by members of the Children of the Holocaust Association in Poland, representatives of state authorities, including Mateusz Szpytma, vice-president of the National Remembrance Institute, Magdalena Erdman, head of the Places of Remembrance Section of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as well as representatives of the media and Varsavianists. The numerous guests included further: Marian Turski, vice-chairman of the Jewish Historical Institute Association; Artur Hofman, chairman of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland; Helise Lieberman, director of the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland; Agnieszka Witkowska-Krych from Korczakianum, part of the Museum of Warsaw. Special guests included: Mrs. Magdalena Majewska Kantor, a granddaughter of Henryk Kroszczor, the last administrative director of the Bersohn and Bauman Hospital; and Mr. Wacław Kornblum, a witness to the history of the hospital, a former resident of 42 Śliska Street.
Those gathered were addressed by Albert Stankowski, the Warsaw Ghetto Museum director, Dr. Hanna Węgrzynek, the museum deputy director for programming, and Dr. Ewa Toniak, the exhibition curator. Mourners’ prayers were recited by rabbis Oriel Zaretski, David Berman and Stas Wojciechowicz in the presence of members of the Jewish Community in Warsaw, Chabad-Lubawicz in Poland and all those present.