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Paweł Machcewicz (Warsaw/Jena)

"The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk: Crossroads of History, Memory and Politics"

09.07.2019 19:00  – 21:00 

On Tuesday, 9 July 2019, Professor Dr Paweł Machcewicz (Warsaw / Jena) will give a public talk about "The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk: Crossroads of History, Memory and Politics" at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum in Munich. The recent history of political controversy surrounding the museum is the focus of Machcewicz's presentation, which is based on his recent book "Der umkämpfte Krieg. Das Museum des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Danzig. Enstehung und Streit" (Wiesbaden 2018). The event is organized by the Munich Documentation for the History of National Socialism and  the German-Polish doctoral program on "Poland and Germany in Modern Europe" in cooperation with the Institute of Eastern and South Eastern European History at LMU Munich and the Graduate School.

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The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk opened in 2017. This is the largest historical museum in Poland and one of largest in Europe and the world. Recently, it also turned out to be the most important battlefield in the realm of historical memory and politics of history in Poland. From the beginning, the concept of the museum was criticized by the right-wing as allegedly unpatriotic, attempting to marginalize exceptional features of Polish history by putting it alongside the experience of other nations. It was called “pseudo-universalistic”, “too European”, “cosmopolitan”, "not Polish enough”. The Museum of the Second World War was compared to the House of European History in Brussels and to projects of creating German-French and Polish-German school textbooks. They were all labeled as expressions of European, cosmopolitan elites to marginalize or even suppress distinct national identities of the member states within the European Union in order to replace them with an artificial, supranational European identity. This controversy reflects not only ideological splits in Poland but in fact epitomizes clashes in the fields of memory, culture and politics in many other European countries.

Paweł Machcewicz is professor of history at the Polish Academy of Science and currently also fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena. From 2008 to 2017 he was founding director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. He was, however, dismissed from his position by the Law and Justice government immediately after the opening of the Museum to the public. In 2017, hence, Machcewicz taught at the Université Libre de Bruxelles holding the International Chair for the History of the Second World War and was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin from 2017 to 2018. Earlier, he was professor of the Warsaw University and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (2006-20139. In 2000, he was a co-founder of the Institute of National Remembrance and served as its director for research and education from 2000 to 2006. In 2017, 2013, 2007, and 1994. he was a Cold War History Project fellow and a History and Public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington DC). From 1997 to 1998, he was a Fulbright fellow at the Georgetown University. Machcewicz received his MA (1989) and PhD (1993) at the Department of History of the Warsaw University.

Free Admission!

Where: Munich – NS-Dokumentationszentrum, Max-Mannheimer-Platz 1, 80333 München

When: Tuesday, 09.07.2019, 7-9 p.m.

Am Dienstag, 9. Juli 2019, trägt Professor Dr. Paweł Machcewicz (Warschau/Jena) im Auditorium des NS-Dokumentationszentrums München über "The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk: Crossroads of History, Memory and Politics" vor. Die geschichtspolitischen Kontroversen rund um das Museum stehen im Mittelpunkt seines Vortrags, der auf dem von ihm verfassten Buch "Der umkämpfte Krieg. Das Museum des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Danzig. Entstehung und Streit" (Wiesbaden 2018) beruht. Es handelt sich um eine gemeinsame Veranstaltung des NS-Dokumentationszentrums München und des Deutsch-Polnischen Promotionskollegs "Polen und Deutschland im modernen Europa" in Kooperation mit dem Oberseminar der Abteilung Geschichte Osteuropas und Südosteuropas der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München und der Graduiertenschule.

Paweł Machcewicz ist Professor für Geschichte an der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und aktuell auch Fellow des Imre Kertész Kollegs Jena. Zwischen 2008 und 2017 war er Gründungsdirektor des Museums des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Danzig. Unmittelbar nach der Eröffnung des Museums wurde er auf Betreiben der polnischen Regierung, die von der rechtskonservativen Partei "Prawo i Sprawiedliwość" (PiS) getragen wird, entlassen. 2017 unterrichtete er am Internationalen Lehrstuhl für Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkriegs der Université Libre de Bruxelles. 2006-2013 war er Professor an der Warschauer Universität und der Nicolaus Copernicus-Universität in Thorn. 2000 war er Mitbegründer des polnischen Instituts für Nationales Gedenken und wirkte zwischen 2000 und 2006 als dessen Direktor für Forschung und Bildung. Er erhielt 1989 seinen Masterabschluss und promovierte 1993 am Historischen Seminar der Warschauer Universität.

Eintritt frei!

Wo: München – NS-Dokumentationszentrum, Max-Mannheimer-Platz 1, 80333 München

Wann: Dienstag, 09.07.2019, 19:00-21:00 Uhr