Szczytno – Masuria Museum Special Exhibition

Locals collecting bricks from damaged buildings so that they can be re-used

A lot of the time the special exhibitions in museums are of only passing interest to me, as they’re sometimes incredibly niche. However, this was one of the more interesting ones that I’ve seen, and I’m glad that my visit coincided with it taking place.

It’s just two rooms of photographs, but they are from the period 1945 until 1955 when Warsaw was being rebuilt. It’s a period of Warsaw’s history that I’ve thought about before when I’ve visited, as they had to rebuild a vast proportion of the city and nearly all of the historic area. It’s also a period of the city’s history which is often neglected in Warsaw museums, so I knew little about it.

Most of the photos date from the late 1940s, when Varsovians tried to go about their normal lives as best as they could. However, it inevitably took many years to complete the rebuild and these photos are a thought-provokoing reminder of what that period must have been like.

An enterprising little venture, a bookshop has been set up in the damaged entrance to a building. The notes on the photo suggest that it’s a public building because of the size of the entrance.

A small chapel, the photo is taken a year after the end of the war.

People waiting at a tram stop with a damaged building behind, although the reminder of the bombing has been added for some reason, as if the building wasn’t enough.

The people in the photo are sand dredging, but the city skyline behind shows the damage which had been done to Warsaw.