Jewish Historical Institute - Warsaw
The mission of the Jewish Historical Institute is to spread knowledge about the heritage of the thousand years of Jewish presence on the Polish lands.
Jewish Historical Institute is Best For
Directions to Jewish Historical Institute
The fact that this institute is the only one of its kind in Poland is reason alone enough to visit but the subject matter makes it a must see. Recently renamed in honour of Emanuel Ringelbaum, whose writings are a definitive account of daily ghetto life during occupation, this building has a superlative collection of archive material relating to Jewish life and community in Poland.
Two permanent exhibitions include the Jewish Art Gallery and the Warsaw Ghetto Exhibition , both worth the trip but the latter being especially memorable due to the poignant, first-hand nature of its contents. Known as The Ringelblum Archive, this collection is central to the aim of the Institute and should not be missed.
Built between 1928 -1936 the building itself has its own history - traces of the Nazi attempt to destroy it by fire and explosives are still visible in the main hall. Having survived the war, it became a focal point of the hopes of reviving Jewish culture in Warsaw.
It's more than a museum though. The institute promotes research and conservation and preservation projects as well as educational summer courses for teachers and scholars. The book shop is a fine addition with many Jewish-related titles in both Polish and English.
The Institute is open every day apart from Saturdays but opening timed vary slightly depending on the day. Check the website for details. There is a modest admission fee except on Sundays, which is free. It is a very popular attraction so if you are part of a group, you are advised to book 2 weeks in advance.