New Museum Council
On March 3, the inaugural meeting of the new Council of the State Museum at Majdanek took place.
The meeting began with the presentation of ministerial references, approval of the Regulations of the Museum Council for the years 2020–2024 and the election of the chairman. This position was received by prof. dr hab. Andrzej Stępnik.
Then the director of the State Museum at Majdanek Tomasz Kranz summed up 2019 – "last year was marked by many important anniversaries. First of all, the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Majdanek camp, the 75th anniversary of the Museum. We always emphasize that we are the first martyrdom museum to commemorate the victims of World War II in the world. It was also the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the war." The past year was also characterized by a large number of events organized by the Museum, which deepened the interest in the history of the Majdanek camp among our recipients – "we always strive to combine elements related to the anniversary and ceremonies with substantive activities [...], not only organized at the Museum, we always go out into the city space" – emphasized Tomasz Kranz. The director spoke about the role of new forms of reaching recipients, the significant increase in visitors (whose number exceeded 300,000 for the first time in 50 years) and about the institution's publishing and educational activities.
During the meeting, he presented the Museum's action plan for 2020. Exhibitions will be one of its highlights. The largest project is the implementation of the permanent exhibition at the newly emerging Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór. The director outlined the concept of the exhibition – "the central display case, which is 25 meters long, is the axis that connects the entire room, has a large symbolic meaning. There is something to be found in it that in the camp was called the schlauch, or the death corridor. Exhibits will be presented in this display case. Thanks to this, we were able to increase the planned number of exhibits to 500.” The inauguration of the exhibition will be combined with the opening ceremony of the facility on October 14, 2020. A temporary exhibition regarding Jerzy Kwiatkowski is also planned. We will also start work on preparing the main exhibition at the Majdanek Museum.
Extensive historical studies on KL Lublin prisoners will be published – "A new monograph on the camp, which will show history from the perspective of the largest groups of prisoners. Over 30 author sheets, a lot of new sources" – emphasized the director. The museum also plans a new edition of Jadwiga Ankiewicz's camp diary – "we got to her family, new photographs. We are preparing a special edition for young people who go to high school today, who are 17 years old. A look at the camp through the eyes of their peers brings a completely different perspective. I am glad that this source will be published this year, in this form" said Tomasz Kranz.
In 2020, conservation of one of the most important facilities at the Museum will be completed – the barracks with the men's bathhouse and the gas chambers. It will be made available to visitors. The women's bathhouse barracks will also be part of the sightseeing path. Earthworks will continue at the Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór, and we will adapt and rebuild the building of the former headquarters in Bełżec.
Participants of the meeting watched two promotional films made in 2019 about the Museum's activities and mission. The 2019 report was also approved and the proposed work plan for 2020 was adopted.
The Museum Council at the State Museum at Majdanek is appointed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for a 4-year term. Its main tasks are evaluation of activities and approval of the Museum's work plans.
Composition of the new Museum Council
Władysław Marek Kunicki-Goldfinger
Dr. Luba Matraszek
prof. dr hab. Ryszard Skrzyniarz
dr hab. Andrzej Stępnik
prof. Bogusław Szmygin