WGM thanks the donors

Magdalena Hartwig, the Head of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum’s Department of Collections, expressed her gratitude to the donors during the press conference held on 12 November in connection with the handover of the original Stroop Report by the Institute of National Remembrance to the Museum

13 November 2020

I have the honour to thank the donors on behalf of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, which is currently collecting objects both for the museum collection and for the permanent exhibition being prepared.

We attach great value to all artefacts directly related to or referring to the history of the Warsaw Ghetto and all those who lived there; the artefacts that would allow us to tell the history of this place, and of which, for obvious reasons, not much have been preserved.

Therefore, we are even more grateful for the support and trust of our donors, including:

– Ms Rachela Kristina Postavski,

– Ms Marcella Putowski,

– Ms Janina Goldhar,

– Mr Gideon Nissenbaum from the Nissenbaum Family Foundation,

– and all other persons who cannot yet be listed by name as the donation process is still ongoing. 

I would like to express my special gratitude to Mr Gideon Nissenbaum for supporting us in the purchase of the cart that was used for the transport of corpses in the Warsaw Ghetto. The authenticity of this object has been confirmed by iconographic sources, analysis of the material it was made of and the paint covering it. Before it was handed over to the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, the cart was in a condition of progressive degradation which was successfully stopped thanks to the three-month-long conservation works. The works involved, among other things, removing the secondary paint layer, filling in wooden elements, strengthening the construction elements and revealing the authentic colours. The cart is currently stored in the WGM’s warehouse, in appropriate climatic conditions that meet safety requirements. 

I would also like to thank Mrs Rachela Kristina Postavski who donated a collection of 76 drawings by Henryk Hechtkopf, a renowned illustrator and painter, whose oeuvre included many Holocaust-related works and projects. The collection handed over to WGM encompasses two series of works created in the years 1945-1955, depicting the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto and portraits of the Holocaust survivors who lived in the Lower Silesia, Łódź and Warsaw after the war. The works will undergo conservation treatment next year. The museum has already prepared a programme of treatments necessary to remove damage and contaminants from the drawings. There are also plans to present the works of Henryk Hechtkopf at the permanent exhibition. 

We are extremely pleased with each intentional donation of relics for our Museum – its main purpose is to commemorate the history of the place that has not yet been commemorated. Therefore, it was with profound gratitude that we accepted the donation from Mrs Marcella Putowski. This donation consists of several Judaica objects – including a candlestick, tefillin, a Torah mantle – books, recordings, and even thematic press cuttings, collected in Mokotow apartment by Mrs Putowski’s husband, Maciej Putowski, a set designer and interior decorator who died in January this year. Maciej Putowski was an art historian by education. In the course of his career in the world of film, he prepared set designs and decorations for several film productions, including: “Zaklęte rewiry” by Janusz Majewski, “Ziemia obiecana”, “Brzezina”, “Wesele”, “Polowanie na muchy” by Andrzej Wajda, “Constans” by Krzysztof Zanussi as well as “Lalka” and “Sanatorium pod klepsydrą” by Wojciech Jerzy Has.  

Also, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the documents donated by Mrs Janina Goldhar are on their way from Israel. Mrs Janina Goldhar has decided to donate i.a. an original copy of a doctoral diploma issued by the Pharmaceutical Faculty of the University of Warsaw in 1934 to her father, Mieczysław Julian Proner. The wartime life of Mrs Goldhar and her family was closely linked with Warsaw and the Warsaw Ghetto. Her father, whose doctoral diploma she has handed over to our museum, was held in the Starobilsk camp and buried at the Piatichatki cemetery in Kharkov. In 2007, he was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. 

Other donations, pending formal reception, include artefacts from the ghetto, but from the area around Warsaw and in their case we are very happy that they come from people who consciously chose the Warsaw Ghetto Museum as their destination for storage and display. 

I am deeply grateful to all our donors for all those gestures. 

The Warsaw Ghetto Museum is still looking for objects to be included in the collection and in the permanent exhibition. We are interested in various objects, documents – letters, postcards, certificates, identity cards, diaries, notes – printed materials, such as posters, flyers, bills, programmes, brochures as well as photographs, photo albums, books. We are looking for everyday use items, objects of religious worship and works of art, also contemporary ones, inspired by that particular chapter of history and the Holocaust. 

At the same time, our main object is the future seat of the museum – the Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital, hence the area of our interest also includes items related to hospital equipment, such as medical and pharmaceutical devices, furniture, guides, manuals, prescriptions, labels, documents. 

We are looking for objects ranging from home furnishings – furniture, dishes, toys, cutlery, to elements of street infrastructure, such as plaques or even rickshaws. We are looking for any objects or archives that can tell the story of people and recreate the appearance, atmosphere and memory of the ghetto. 

We are obliged and committed to take care of the objects donated to us. We ensure proper storage conditions, appropriate packaging that complies with modern packaging standards and conservation care. We want to make sure that objects and documents can be protected and bear witness to the Warsaw Ghetto. That is why we want to, and we are going to, display them – as part of the permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions, and present in publications, make available for scientific research as well as use them for educational purposes.

By entrusting the objects to the Museum you can protect them, prevent from dispersion, but most of all, contribute to building the memory of the history of the Warsaw Ghetto”.

Photo Jacek Turczyk