The Muranów neighborhood was once home to Warsaw’s Jewish community, and became the zone where the German occupiers created the Warsaw ghetto. After the Germans suppressed the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, on May 16, 1943, they razed the area to the ground. Leaving only a sea of rubble. And, along with this, the history of what was once Europe’s largest Jewish community was completely obliterated. “Here Is Muranów,” reveals an otherwise invisible history, of this neighborhood, layer by layer, from the 18th century, to the present.
Underneath a seemingly familiar surface, the exhibit, “Here Is Muranów,” will reveal unknown dimensions of the past; the present; and, the future of the city, for its residents, today. You’ll travel back in time to the eighteenth century, and learn about a certain Venetian, who longs for his home — the island of Murano. Stroll in the former Northern Quarter, which was the center of Jewish life before World War Two —at the time when Warsaw was home to the largest Jewish diaspora in Europe. Walk down pre-war Nalewki, a vibrant commercial street, comparable to today’s Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw; or, Piotrkowska Street in Łódź, with its hustle and bustle.
Learn the catastrophic fate of Jews imprisoned in the ghetto. Understand how the post-war urban planners, tasked with reconstructing the capital city, envisioned a new Modernist housing estate, on the rubble, which was all that remained of pre-war Warsaw. Most especially, this exhibit answers two important questions: what makes Muranów unique, then, and now; and, why POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews was sited here, rather than anyplace, else.