The Light of History: Through the Lens of a Polish Museum

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Publicerad: 2013-02-11


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Together with literature; history has played a defining role in shaping the consciousness of the Poles. This reflected in the history of Polish museums where we can trace the indissoluble nexus between history and politics.

With the collapse of the communist regime in 1989 and the restoration of democracy the role the historical narrative should play in public debate needed to be redefined. These challenges would include: Polish identity and multicultural traditions. Reckoning with the communist past. A debate on “Historical politics” (i.e. what role history should play in the politics of the government). International debates on the Holocaust; German discussions on national socialism and the “victimization” of German social memory. New museology and international trends. As a result of all these processes and debates; around the year 2000 a series of new museum projects was launched in Poland including The Polish History Museum. The Museum’s narrative is buttressed by three pillars: 1) Democracy and freedom. 2) Identity issues including role of other ethnic and national group of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in shaping common heritage. 3. Everyday life and development of the civilization.


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