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75 years later...

“Whoever does not respect or value their past does not deserve the respect of the present or the right to a future”, said one of the fathers of Poland’s independence, Marshal Józef Piłsudski. World War II in Polish Museums and Historical Re-enactments: Selected Sites and Events is a publication designed to introduce readers to sites and events that help maintain remembrance of World War II in Poland. We should remember that travelling is not just for relaxing and sightseeing. Tourism is a diverse pastime. One of its most important values is contact with culture, history, nature as well as people. Tourism often allows us to celebrate and commemorate important events, learn about history as well as shaping patriotic attitudes among society. Acting in accordance with patriotic ideas should be founded on expanding our own knowledge and awareness.

That is why the aims of the present publication include introducing readers to selected sites within today’s Poland that commemorate World War II battles and events. They include history museums, exhibitions and open-air museums where events from 80 years ago are still vivid. You can also review the most important historical re-enactments commemorating major battles, not only of the September Campaign of 1939. The Warsaw Rising Museum, re-enactments of the Battle of the River Bzura, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum – these are just a few important sites and events described in this book. They are all related to history that we must never forget. Visiting such sites and taking part in re-enactments is not just an important history lesson but also a warning for the future. We should all want to make sure such things never happen again.

The present book presents sites and events of different character, which is why it is divided into three parts: museums, historical re-enactments and events, and other sites. All of them are related to events from the years 1939-1945. The sites in each section are not listed in any hierarchy, because they all touch upon themes important to the Polish people. Wherever possible, the authors have tried to list them chronologically. Of course, we realize that our publication does not include all the museums, sites and re-enactments worth presenting. We treat this book as a contribution encouraging further work and discussion.

The publication has been put together in collaboration with regional tourism organizations, museums, remembrance sites as well as institutions, administration offices and organizations involved in historical re-enactments. We would like to thank all our partners for their invaluable assistance.

Robert Andrzejczyk, Jan Mazurczak, Paweł Pietrzyk

Please follow this link to download “World War II in Polish Museums and Historical Reenactment.” book.

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