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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 30, 2014
Exhibitions
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Warsaw’s Jewish Heritage on Show
April 30, 2014   
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A new exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews offers a glimpse of Warsaw as it was before World War II, when the city was home to the world’s second-largest Jewish community after New York City.

Entitled Warszawa, Warsze, the exhibition comprises archival documents, paintings and photographs. Arranged in chronological order, the exhibition begins with items from the late 18th century.

The primary focus of Warszawa, Warsze are Warsaw’s distinctly Jewish neighborhoods, such as Muranów and Nalewki Street, where Yiddish was spoken and the streets bustled with sidewalk stalls, stores and craftsmen’s workshops. Visitors to the museum can see how the elegant Senatorska Street and the Tłomackie Street area, a favorite meeting place for progressive intellectuals, once looked.

The exhibition also delves into the shady atmosphere of Gnojna Street and Iron Gate Square, and brings to life the Jewish microcosm of Warsaw’s Praga district, whose local horse fair attracted many Jews in the 18th century. The exhibition also takes in the Vistula River, which used to be a popular bathing spot and which simultaneously served as a trade route for Jewish merchants dealing in grain and other products.

A section of the exhibition room has been arranged as a cafe where you can take a seat to read Jewish newspapers from before the war, watch a movie and see works of art and religious items manufactured at famous goldsmiths’ workshops in Warsaw. Advertisements and signboards on show in the exhibition, many of them in both Polish and Jewish, remind audiences of the strong Jewish presence in Warsaw before World War II.

Until June 30
Museum of the History of Polish Jews
6 Anielewicza St.
Open Mon., Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed on Tuesdays
Tickets: tel. 22 471-03-01, rezerwacje@jewishmuseum.org.pl
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