Warsaw Ghetto museum for Polish capital
PR dla Zagranicy
A Warsaw Ghetto museum is to be set up in a former Jewish paediatric hospital in central Warsaw, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin has said.
The building which formerly housed the Jewish paediatric hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto. Photo: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 pl)
Sellin said that the museum, which is to be set up in the coming weeks, will be a tribute to almost half a million Polish Jews from Warsaw who perished at the hands of Nazi Germans.
The hospital at Sienna street was set up in 1878 and closed during mass deportations of Jews from the ghetto to extermination camps in 1942. The building is one of few located in what was formerly the Warsaw Ghetto that was not destroyed during World War II.
The Warsaw Ghetto, established in the autumn of 1940, was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe.
In the summer of 1942, at least quarter of a million of its residents were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp.
The new museum’s announcement came amid strained ties between Poland and Israel.
Poland's president recently said he would sign into law new rules which could mean a jail term for anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes during World War II.
In Poland, the planned new law is seen as a way of fighting the use of the phrase “Polish death camps”, which implies Poland's involvement in the Holocaust.
Poland has long fought the use of such phrases, which have appeared in foreign media in relation to Nazi German-run extermination camps located in occupied Polish territory during World War II.
But commentators have said that Israel is concerned that the new law could mean penalties for anyone who criticises individual Poles' role in the Holocaust.
The Polish government has stressed that the law will not affect academic research or artistic expression.
Public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched a new website, GermanDeathCamps.info, aimed at debunking misconceptions about Poland’s role in the Holocaust. (mk/vb)