Traces of memory at the Galicja Jewish Museum in Kraków
A discussion on the Polish-Jewish past, today and future.
In 2018, the exhibition from the Galicja Jewish Museum – Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland was displayed at the three most important Holocaust museums in the Republic of South Africa: Durban Holocaust Centre, Cape Town Holocaust Centre and Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. The exhibition was accompanied by an extended program of: lectures, debates and film screenings dedicated to the history of Polish Jewry and contemporary Polish-Jewish relations.
The exhibition pieces together a picture of the relics of Jewish life and culture in Polish Galicia that can still be seen today, interpreting these traces in a manner that is informative, accessible, and thought-provoking. The exhibition offers a lament for the destroyed Jewish civilisation that once flourished in this country, remembers the location where annihilation took place, and give credit to commemorative efforts that have occurred since the Holocaust. As the exhibition document traces of Jewish presence in dozens of places, it allow us to localize the story, relaying to visitors a narrative not of strangers but rather their former neighbours.
The project was popular even outside the numerous Polish-Jewish diaspora living in RSA.
Issues connected to dealing and remembering the past and confronting painful aspects of the history of your own country and nation have great significance to the citizens of RSA. The exhibition and the events were not only concentrated on the past, but also a starting point for a debate about the modern world, relations between people and the role of younger generations in remembering the past.
The project was organised by the Galicja Jewish Museum together with the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center thanks to funding by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
If you happen to find yourself in Kraków you can visit Galicja Jewish Museum on Dajwór 18 in the heart of Kazimierz, Kraków’s Jewish quarter.