I’ve been searching for information on a specific memorial that I would love to use in my project. But it’s been more difficult to find this information than I had previously expected.
This week’s project update asks for a textual piece of information that we would like to use in our project in some way. A very important law, when discussing Polish memory, is the law of Commemoration of the Suffering of the Polish People, which was enacted on July 2, 1947 in Poland. I want to have a portion of this law on my project site because this law played an important role in the transmission of memory in Poland, specifically at sites of death camps.
One site I want to discuss in this project is the Majdanek State Museum. The museum is at the site of the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland and today provides valuable education on the Holocaust in Poland. What’s really interesting about the Majdanek State Museum is that it was set up in 1944, as the camp was liquidated by the Red Army, and became the state monument of martyrology for Poland. However, what that information doesn’t tell you, is that the museum (in its formative years) did not accurately portray the intent of the camp as well as the primary victims of the camp. Most information portrayed at Majdanek in the initial years of the museum did not mention Jews as the primary victims.
The Law of Commemoration of the Suffering of the Polish People played a crucial role in shaping the remembrance of the Polish people. In it’s initial years as a museum, Majdanek State Museum focused on its Polish victims, rather than its Jewish victims. This had incredible repercussions for the Polish understanding of the Holocaust.
I have a copy of a piece of the law that is specifically about Majdanek that I will incorporate into the project. I will also provide a translation since it is in Polish.