“The Warsaw Ghetto. People, Places, Events” – new project of the WGM’s Exhibition Department

The culture created in the Warsaw Ghetto is the theme of a cyclical Internet project, the first installment of which is “Around the szop of Abraham Ostrzega”. The initiator and curator of the project is Dr Magdalena Piecyk, deputy head of the Exhibition Department

21 September 2020

“The Warsaw Ghetto. People, Places, Events” project will focus on the culture created in the ghetto. “We want to show that the people in the ghetto lived their lives, went to the cinema, the theatre, tried to live normally,” says the curator of the project.

Each of the installments will focus on a different topic,” says Magdalena Piecyk.  “The Warsaw Ghetto. People, Places, Events” is an open project. Sometimes we will focus on one artist in terms of his or her work in the ghetto and what he or she did before, and sometimes on some ghetto artistic phenomenon, sometimes on the activities of some group of artists – the choice of themes is unlimited, really. We will present them in the broader context of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Every year, a new installment of the project, touching upon another issue concerning the world of art, music and theatre, will be released. The publication of the first installment of the project on 21 September – “Around the szop of Abraham Ostrzega” – coincides with the 78th anniversary of the end of the so-called Grossaktion Warschau. Ostrzega was an artists known especially for his sepulchral sculptures, he also co-founded the Jewish Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts. With the outbreak of World War II, the artist’s studio was incorporated into the ghetto and transformed into a factory producing whetstone and metal cleaning powder, where his artist friends were employed. These were, among others, Józef Śliwniak, Maksymilian Eljowicz, Henryk Rabinowicz, Roman Rozental, Izrael Tykociński, Symcha Trachter. In the summer of 1942, the factory became part of Heinz Müller’s szop. When the metal articles produced there were no longer needed, the Germans transported the artists forced to work in the szop to the death camp in Treblinka.

Anna Kilian

Photo: WGM