When it comes to the World War II, Poland has a lot of history to tell. And even if most people think Auschwitz while thinking WWII and Poland, this museum is a must to visit while in Gdansk. And what better place to have this kind of museum, since Gdansk is the place where the WWII started.
Museum of the second world war
This place is incredible. Expect to learn a lot about the war and listen to loads of information. This museum is not a place where you will learn just about Poland and the war but the war itself. The fact that this is a place dedicated to the WWII as a whole and not just Poland’s side of it is a great thing according to me.
While walking inside the building you can really feel the pain of the war. There are several exhibits that you walk through and they teach you a lot about the war. There is also a personal touch to all of it. For example, there is a wedding dress made out of a parachute. It’s fantastic to see how people tried to keep some sort of normalcy even during the war. And when there was no fabric to buy, they used a parachute.
The museum might be changed
During our visit, the museum was at risk of being remade. I have not the information from anybody from the museum but I asked some people and I also read an article in a polish magazine and there is a controversy when it comes to the museum. This is how I understood it all:
Today the museum is about the WWII overall. That means that there are exhibits that are about other countries like Japan and such. The government of Poland thinks that it should be focused on Poland and the Polish people and their suffering. Meanwhile, it took seven years to prepare the exhibition as is now and what I could gather none of the people we spoke to wants it to change.
It turns out that the Polish government wants the museum to be about the Polish suffering. Showing the world how Poland was a victim. Sure that’s true but the museum is perfect just the way it is so there is no need to change it. Only the future will tell whether this place stays this way or if the government changes it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Experience the Museum of the second world war
This museum is super modern. Make sure to get an audio guide because it’s really good. The guide will know where you are at all times and start playing (several languages to choose from) whenever you enter a room. If you leave the room and enter another one, the audio will automatically switch into the room you are currently in.
The museum is quite interactive. You get to listen, read, touch and interact with parts of the exhibition. I really liked all of it and I thought that this is a perfect place to learn more about the WWII. I was taken aback and felt uncomfortable by a room where there were posters of Hitler and posters of Jews that are being mocked. It is so powerful that it’s hard to take it all in. Make sure to get your tickets in advance. Since the museum is still new, and the entrance is limited, make sure to get your tickets. You can buy them online or hope for the best and buy them at the door. This is really a must do while in Gdansk.
Information about the Museum of the second world war
Address: pl. Władysława Bartoszewskiego 1, 80-862 Gdańsk, Poland.
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 – 19.00 except for Monday. On Mondays it’s closed.
Ticket price (2017): 23 zloty for one adult.