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Poland`s Museum of the Second World War: Battlefield of History and Politics

Dates:
  • Thu 18 Jan 2018 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-01-18 17:00 2018-01-18 19:00 Europe/Paris Poland`s Museum of the Second World War: Battlefield of History and Politics

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk was opened on March 23, 2017. It is the largest historical museum in Poland and one of largest historical museums in Europe and the world.
In recent years, it also turned out to be the biggest battlefield in the realm of historical memory and the politics of history in Poland. This project evoked heated debates and controversies and the very opening of the museum was severely fraught, and indeed almost didn’t happen, because of the counteractions by the current Polish government. The concept of the Museum of the Second World War was from the very beginning attacked by the nationalist right-wing as “too European”, “pseudo-universalistic” and “not Polish enough”.
The crusade against the Museum could be seen as a part of a nationalistic rejection of the European perspective and part of xenophobia growing nowadays in Poland. Such an anti-European and isolationist reaction is not exclusively a Polish phenomenon, it is also happening in other European countries, but in Poland it has become especially acute and the ongoing battle around the Museum epitomizes this trend.

Pawel Machcewicz is professor of recent history at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, and currently Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He specialises in the 20th century Polish and European history, particularly the history of the WWII, communist dictatorship, emigration, anti-communist dissent, memory and retributive justice. His recent publications include Der Beginn der Vernichtung. Zum Mord an den Juden in Jedwabne und Umgebung im Sommer 1941 (co-author, Osnabrück 2004), Rebellious Satellite Poland 1956 (Stanford 2009) and Poland's War on Radio Free Europe, 1950-1989 (Standford 2015). Professor Machcewicz has been an adviser to the Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk and from 2008 to April 2017 the founding director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk.

Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa. DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk was opened on March 23, 2017. It is the largest historical museum in Poland and one of largest historical museums in Europe and the world.
In recent years, it also turned out to be the biggest battlefield in the realm of historical memory and the politics of history in Poland. This project evoked heated debates and controversies and the very opening of the museum was severely fraught, and indeed almost didn’t happen, because of the counteractions by the current Polish government. The concept of the Museum of the Second World War was from the very beginning attacked by the nationalist right-wing as “too European”, “pseudo-universalistic” and “not Polish enough”.
The crusade against the Museum could be seen as a part of a nationalistic rejection of the European perspective and part of xenophobia growing nowadays in Poland. Such an anti-European and isolationist reaction is not exclusively a Polish phenomenon, it is also happening in other European countries, but in Poland it has become especially acute and the ongoing battle around the Museum epitomizes this trend.

Pawel Machcewicz is professor of recent history at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, and currently Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He specialises in the 20th century Polish and European history, particularly the history of the WWII, communist dictatorship, emigration, anti-communist dissent, memory and retributive justice. His recent publications include Der Beginn der Vernichtung. Zum Mord an den Juden in Jedwabne und Umgebung im Sommer 1941 (co-author, Osnabrück 2004), Rebellious Satellite Poland 1956 (Stanford 2009) and Poland's War on Radio Free Europe, 1950-1989 (Standford 2015). Professor Machcewicz has been an adviser to the Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk and from 2008 to April 2017 the founding director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk.


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi 1st Floor, V.Sa.

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization
Historical Archives

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Organiser:
Professor Pavel Kolar (EUI)
Dieter Cornel Schlenker (EUI - Historical Archives of the EC)
Alexander Etkind (European University Institute)
Pieter Judson (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Speaker:
Prof. Pawel Machcewicz (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)
 
 

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