Expellees 1939 – Exhibition of the Association of Polish Cities

About 500 photographs, posters and documents collected from both Polish and German archives have been presented in the form of a collage on large boards. They document the deportations of Polish citizens from land incorporated into the Third Reich, their historical background and other persecutions of Poles and Jews that complete the picture of the “demographic policy” of the Nazis.

German war film chronicles, a selection of which accompanies the exhibition, constitute the illustration of the new rule in the incorporated lands and the “huge modern migration of people” i.e. the migration of ethnic Germans from the east to the Warthegau area as presented in the propaganda.

Our offer will be supplemented by screenings of a documentary entitled Fair-haired province (Poland, Germany 2009/2010, directed by Jacek Kubiak, Klaus Salge, 70 min.), and multimedia encouraging the independent quest for knowledge about the occupational reality in the lands incorporated into the Reich and about the deportations themselves. Apart from photographs they include, among others, witnesses’ testimony and commentaries by historians (video recordings) as well as German radio recordings from war years.

Fragments of a documentary series Expellees 1939..., produced for TVP in 2007-2008, and another, similar Warthegau series of 2008 have also been used as exhibits. Their strength lies in the contributions of witnesses and victims, often utterly unique, together with the explanatory commentaries of historians.

Previous exhibition places

    • Poznań International Fair , Poznań 9 – 11. 2009;
    • Youth Cultural Centre, Aleksandrów Łódzki, 8 – 09.2010;
    • Oświęcim Cultural Centre, 21.09. – 10. 2010;
    • Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Warsaw 25 – 10. 2010;
    • City Museum in Gostyń, 1 – 05. 2011;
    • Municipal Public Library, Konin 15.08. – 09. 2011;
    • Museum of Independence Movement Traditions, Łódź – 09. – 19.10.2011;
    • Śrem Museum, Śrem 20.10. – 12.2011;
    • Regional Museum, Pleszew 20.12.2011 – 02.2012;
    • Regional Museum, Kościan 16.03. – 04.2012;
    • Municipal Cultural Centre, Płońsk 06 – 09.2012;
    • Sieradz Cultural Centre, 16.11. – 12.2012;
    • Ciechanów City Office, 16.01. – 03.2013;
    • Kujawy Cultural Centre, Inowrocław, 24.05 – 08.2013;
    • Płock Centre of Culture and Art, Płock 17.09 – 10.2013;
    • Educational Centre of the Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw 15.10.  -11.2013;
    • Ostrów Cultural Centre – Synagogue Forum, Ostrów Wlkp. 8.11. – 12.2013;
    • Krotoszyn Cultural Centre, Refectory Gallery, 19.12.2013 – 02.2014;
    • Municipal Public Library in Chodzież, 7.04. – 05.2014;
    • Joseph Mehoffer City Museum in Turek, 05 – 10.06.2014.
    • Secondary School Complex no 1 in Jarocin, 11.06. – 06.2014
    • Train station in Jarocin, 1.07.- 28.07.2014
    • Higher Vocational School in Mława, 26.08. – 10.2014

Currently, the exhibition is being presented in Browar B Cultural Centre in Włocławek and is enjoying great popularity. For example, the Poznań exhibition has been visited by nearly 2,000 people. In Aleksadrów 9 school trips, of about 100 students each, visited the exhibition together with a few hundred other visitors. In Oświęcim, the exhibition was presented in the hall of the Oświęcim Cultural Centre. There were at least 2,000 visitors. In the Polish Parliament, apart from the MPs and journalists working there, a dozen or so school trips visited the exhibitions, and thanks to the “Museum Night” in Gostyń the visitor count hit about 1,200 in just a couple of hours.

We estimate that about 50,000 people have already seen the exhibition in 20 Polish cities.

Technical information (for potential partners for future exhibitions)

Each time the exhibition is arranged to fit into the specific place of presentation. The main information carrier is 16 boards with a total surface area of 64 sq m, printed on foil and glued onto PVC boards and then fastened to a large support frame made from MDF boards, formed into two arches, 2.3 m high and with an external radius of 2.4 m. Additionally, there are two free-standing advertising columns, resembling the historical ones, each 2.3 m high and 1.2 m in diameter, as well as three square posts with a 0.6 x 0.6 m base, 2.1 m high. They all present photos of expellees.