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Polin Museum

Warsaw, Poland
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Museum of the History of Polish Jews - interior detail

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Polish: Muzeum Historii Zydow Polskich) is a museum on the site which was a real heart of pre-war Jewish Warsaw which turned into Ghetto during WWII and then was completely destroyed in 1944.

Concept

POLIN Museum is an unprecendent cultural development on European scale that has started in 2005 through public-private partnership between Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, City of Warsaw and Ministry of Culture. All three parties has shared the costs of its development where consquently Ministry of Culture and City of Warsaw has financed the building contruction, whereas Jewish Historical Institute has fully prepared permanent exbihition backed by public donations from the entire world.

Now POLIN Museum contains permanent narrative exhibition ,which occupies almost one-third of the building, presenting a more than 1000 years history of the Polish Jews from Middle Ages till the Holocaust and postwar times. Besides it serves as a complex cultural and education center organizing debates and formal discussions around the Jewish culture.

Building

It's building, designed by Finish architect Rainer Mahlamaki has become a tourist attraction on its own. Designed as a simple rectangular structure in postmodernist style has been covered by glass tiles containing inscriptions written in Hebrew. A huge breach in the middle of the building symbolizes a dramatic period of Jewish community during WWII or it can be read as a Red Sea parted by Moses as described in Exodus Book.

The bulding prefectly corresponds with Monument to the Ghetto Heroes from 1948 and continues its dramatic story. POLIN Museum building has been also kindly welcomed by architecture critics and received multiple prizes including SARP Award (Polish Architects Association) for the best building financed from public sources. POLIN Museum has been also nominated to 2015 Mies van der Rohe Award.