Temporary Exhibition: Dialogue of Remembrance. What We Did Not Want to Forget
The National Museum in Szczecin - The Dialogue Centre Upheavals | Plac Solidarności 1, 70-515 Szczecin, Polska

The hundredth anniversary of regaining independence by Poland brings reflection on how we want to remember this event. Numerous historical studies, inspired by the anniversary, recall the most important facts, dates, and names. What has remained in our memory? What symbols connected with that moment and the following epoch became universal; what places, people and family accounts do we consider to be important? What has become a synonym of Polishness and what is its contradiction in the context of regaining freedom?

In the time of Polish People's Republic, the official remembrance of Poland's regaining independence on November 11th, 1918 was disrupted. In 1944, on the occasion of the anniversary, a military parade was organized in Lublin, but the celebration was used to portray the "reactionary rule of Sanation" negatively. Memory manipulation was done in a variety of ways. Asearly as in 1945, the Independence Day was liquidated by introducing the National Day of the Rebirth of Poland celebrated on July 22nd instead. That was the day of the announcement of the manifesto of the Polish Committee of National Liberation a puppet body of executive power, appointed in Moscow. The celebration of November 11th disappeared from the public space for numerous years. Its pre-war symbols gradually became forgotten, replaced by others. The central commemoration of independence regaining on November 11th was organized by the communist authorities only once, at the end of the system, in 1988.

The interwar period, along with its symbolic beginning on November 11th, were attempted to be discredited, shown only in black colours and, at least, ignored, especially in the first post-war decade. Individual memory and home archives have fulfilled the function of a vault of the recent past. The construction of its negative description was counter-productive: it intensified the longing for the world, which all the positive qualities that the Polish People's Republic was missing were attributed to. Numerous accounts recalled only what was positive, leaving difficult themes of the interwar period to be dealt with "later". That is how the myth settled.

In order to show how the image of the interwar period changed during the Polish People's Republic time, we decided to do an "exhibition within the exhibition". In most of the permanent exhibition space, memorabilia were introduced. They are symbols that show how the memory of the pre-war era evolved in families and in the circles of power.


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Dialogue of Remembrance. What We Did Not Want to Forget

The National Museum in Szczecin – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals
1 Solidarności Sq.

Exhibition open since November 11th till December 30th 2018
Vernissage: Sunday, November 11th 2018, 11.00 A.M., free entrance

Curator and the author of the texts: Agnieszka Kuchcińska-Kurcz
Curatorial cooperation: Aneta Popławska-Suś, Paula Sendra
Proofreading: Wiktoria Klera
Collections: The National Museum in Szczecine – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals, Sylwester Chruszcz, Ryszard Leoszewski, Piotr Szkocki, Tadeusz Szumowski, Jan Tarnowski, Beata Urbaniak, Andrzej Wincza

Organizer: The National Museum in Szczecin
Co-Organizers: Sieć Ziem Zachodnich i Północnych, Centrum Historii Zajezdnia we Wrocławiu 

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