To Celebrate Its Jewish History, Poland Presents ‘a Museum of Life’

After several days of concerts, seminars, festivals and hoopla, the core exhibition of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews — the most ambitious cultural institution to rise in Polandsince the fall of Communism — will be unveiled on Tuesday. Poland’s top political leaders will be there, as will the president of Israel and other international dignitaries. The institution has been embraced across the political spectrum and has drawn only scattered, mild protest.

In eight sprawling galleries, packed with multimedia exhibitions and artifacts, the museum traces the history of Jews from their first appearance in Poland in the Middle Ages to the present day. The Holocaust, the part of the story that is most often remembered, fills only one of the eight galleries.
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