Victims of the Holocaust in Museum Exhibitions. New Ways of Representation (en translation)

Anna Ziębińska-Witek

ORCID: Anna Ziębińska-Witek:

Pages: 135-152

Edition: Lublin 2016

DOI: --

Citation method: A. Ziębińska-Witek, Victims of the Holocaust in Museum Exhibitions. New Ways of Re-presentation, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 135-152.

Abstract: Museums of the Holocaust appeal to powerful emotions, since their objective is to offer a moving experience that confronts visitors with difficult questions, or even takes them to the limits that defy comprehension. These exhibitions do not deal with affirmative history but with events that no one would like to identify with. One of the most important problems is the representation of the victims without using drastic and brutal images. Paradoxically, the difficulties and doubts related to the necessary task of representing the Shoah force museums of the Holocaust to embrace new forms of portraying the past and resort to the latest exhibition strategies capable of emotionally involving the public. In my paper, I would like to show how Polish exhibitions create new forms of narration, combine multiple discourses, search for new modes of communication (including artistic expression) and confront viewers with difficult knowledge. I would talk about two examples: so-called Central Sauna in Auschwitz-Birkenau and The Primer installation at Majdanek Museum.