Warsaw Ghetto museum planned for hospital with ghetto, Jewish ties


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage wants to create a Warsaw Ghetto Museum in a hospital with ties to the ghetto and the Jewish community.

“The creation of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum is in the initial phase of preparation, both substantively and organizationally,” the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage told JTA in a statement.

The new museum planned to be housed in the building of the former Bersohn and Bauman Hospital in Warsaw will be developed in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Institute.

The ministry said in its statement that it does not know when such a museum would open, citing the technical work that goes into creating it, as well as securing the former hospital property and reconstructing it to house a museum.

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“This is a very good initiative. Both for commemorating the Warsaw residents who were separated by the wall and the first Warsaw uprising,” said Polish-Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik, whose immediate family died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

“I am very happy that the Warsaw Ghetto will find its commemoration in Warsaw, but I would like to know more details,” said Piotr Paziński, editor-in-chief of Midrasz magazine. “And I hope for a place devoted to the life and death of the Warsaw Ghetto from the inside, the voices of the people who lived and died in it.”

Bersohn and Bauman Hospital began operating in 1878. Janusz Korczak, the Polish-Jewish humanitarian who accompanied more than 190 orphaned children when they were transported to the Nazi camp Treblinka, worked there during the years 1905 to 1912. In the interwar years the hospital was taken over by the Society of Friends of Children, and its expansion was financed by the Jewish community and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. During World War II, the hospital was initially located within the ghetto. Then its location was changed twice. In 1942, patients and workers were taken to Treblinka. After the war, the Central Committee of Polish Jews took over the hospital building.

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