Object structure


The Memory Factory. Confronting the Past in the Exhibition “Kraków under Nazi Occupation from 1939 to 1945”


Weżgowiec, Barbara

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The contemporary “reading” of history and the narrative of the past can assume various forms, one of which are museum exhibitions, including narratives presented by history museums. The purpose of this article is to provide a reflection on the account of the Second World War, presented at the exhibition Cracow under Nazi Occupation from 1939 to 1945 in Schindler's Factory, which is now part of the Historical Museum of Cracow. A visible change has been observed over several years in the way of organizing exhibitions in Polish museums, which combines various techniques of presentation in the form of a specific collage. How does this exhibition narrate the past? By what means do its authors compose this narrative? And, finally, can a modernly designed exhibition touch such a painful subject as war and how can it do that? Places that commemorate the events of the Nazi occupation have so far found themselves in different parts of Cracow. Therefore, the memories of them seemed to be fragmentary. The authors of the exhibition in Schindler's Factory have endeavoured to unify these memories of the wartime experiences of Cracow and its inhabitants. Further deliberations are preceeded by a brief outline of the history of museology, with particular emphasis placed on its contemporary dimension, that is, the so-called open or narrative museum.

Subject and Keywords:

museology ; historical/narrative museum ; museum exhibition ; (museum) narrative ; Schindler's Factory ; Cracow under Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945

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