A Ceremonial Nomination of Professor Dariusz Stola

On February 26 Professor Dariusz Stola received an official nomination for the post of Director of Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The new director was chosen by the three founders of the museum: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, The City of Warsaw and The Association of Jewish Historical Institute in Poland. At the ceremony held in the Museum Bogdan Zdrojewski, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage handed in the nomination to the new director. “Our biggest challenge this year will be handing down the Core Exhibition by its contractors”, Professor Stola stated. “The Core Exhibition is the heart of our museum, and we have to integrate it with all our systems and curricular operations”.

"The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a beautiful building located in an important part of Europe. An institution called upon to educate, to remind, and to create opportunities for meeting, not only for the Polish and Jewish nations. I am well aware that managing a museum is a very difficult task. But I am sure that you will perform it excellently, Professor, and I myself will make every effort to ensure the best possible conditions for the operation of this deeply needed museum. Congratulations, and I hope that every day will bring you satisfaction" – said Minister Zdrojewski in his speech.

Professor Dariusz Stola is a historian, scholar of human migrations in the 20th century, the Holocaust and the Polish-Jewish relations as well as the communist regime in Poland and social memory. He worked at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and also at the Collegium Civitas and at the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw. He published more than a hundred scholarly essays, nine books and three textbooks for high school students. He acted as one of the consultants of the Core Exhibition of Museum of the History of Polish Jews. “Opening the Core Exhibition to the public will complete the museum’s offer”, declares Professor Dariusz Stola. “From then on we will be able to extend to our visitors a complete package of our educational, cultural and exhibition programmes, including activities carried out thanks to the Norwegian Grant and European Economic Area subsidies.

Museum of the History of Polish Jews pursues a modern-style museum model. Aside from the Core Exhibition, it offers its visitors temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts, theatre performances, film screenings, meetings with eye-witnesses of history, workshops for children, classes for school students, educational and scholarly activities – in other words, a whole kaleidoscope of various activities.

“The cost of constructing a truly modern space amounted to 176 billion PLN. We now have to fill this space with Jewish history and national heritage in order to preserve the memory of the past”, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the Mayor of Warsaw said during the ceremony. “I am most happy that already today the museum is an important site on the cultural and educational map of the capital. It is a frequently visited thriving venue which offers concerts as well as exhibitions and carries out educational and scholarly projects. Awaiting opening of the Core Exhibition, which will become the very heart of the museum, I wish best of luck to the newly appointed Director”, added Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.

The ceremony was also attended by Marian Turski, chairman of the Museum Council, Piotr Wiślicki, chairman of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, and Andrzej Cudak, the acting director of Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Appointing the new director is yet another step in the scheduled process of integrating the museum with the general public. The main task of Andrzej Cudak, the acting director in the period between September 2012 and February 2014, was assuring the museum was ready to function in the new building, assembling staff and launching curricular operations. Professor Dariusz Stola will be responsible for the process of handing over the Core Exhibition and for organizing the formal opening at the museum. Subsequently, he will head the institution offering a full repertoire to the visitors from Poland and from abroad.

“This year our highlight will be the opening on October 28 (2014)” Professor Dariusz Stola stated with emphasis. “It is of utmost importance to us, on occasion of the opening, to thank all those who contributed to the establishment of the museum. We also wish to introduce the museum to the residents of Warsaw (and especially to our neighbours from Muranów), visitors from other cities and from abroad. We would like to remind them all about Polish Jewry’s beautiful and rich contribution to the culture not solely of our country, but of the whole world”, added the new director.