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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Tale of two cities at Warsaw's Jewish museum

13.09.2019 07:40
An exhibition focusing on the Polish city of Gdynia and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv has opened at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
Gdynia and Tel Aviv: miles apart but curiously similar?
Gdynia and Tel Aviv: miles apart but curiously similar? Image: polin.pl

Though some 3,000 kilometers apart, the Polish Baltic port and the Israeli city have much in common.

As the museum writes on its website, “both were erected in the early decades of the 20th century as seaports—gates to the world, elegant summer resorts and pearls of Modernist architecture.”

The Gdynia and Tel Aviv exhibition features photographs, documents, posters and architectural models of the two cities’ most iconic buildings, documentary films showing the everyday life of their inhabitants, as well as works of art by contemporary Polish and Israeli artists.

Gdynia, founded in 1929, and Tel Aviv, established in 1909, played similar roles in the history of their countries.

Gdynia represented the dreams and aspirations of a newly independent Polish state, while Tel Aviv embodied the determination of the Jewish nation to establish a new home in Palestine.

Gdynia was designed to be Poland’s gate to the world, while Tel Aviv was intended to become the first Hebrew city, an entrance gate for the tens of thousands of immigrants flocking in with the aim of building the future Jewish state.

The head of Poland’s Jewish Historical Institute Association, Piotr Wiślicki, has described the exhibition as a bridge between Jews and Poles, adding that the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is “a great ambassador of Polish-Jewish dialogue.”

The exhibition, which runs until February 3, has been produced in cooperation with the Gdynia City Museum, under the auspices of the mayors of Gdynia and Tel Aviv as well as the Israeli embassy in Warsaw.

(mk/gs)