The Museum of the Second World War is the largest museum of history in Poland and one of the largest in the world. The main exhibition alone – unusually located 14 meters below ground level – covers nearly 5,000 square meters. The purpose of the exhibition is to present the hugeness one of the most tragic conflicts in history. Visitors can learn about the origins of the war, the main actors of this drama, the fate of civilians, and the results of this brutal bloodbath.
Thanks to the multimedia setting, visitors can have a look at extensive archival materials (a total of more than 1,000 pages of text), including accounts from witnesses, audio recordings, videos, and photos and course of major battles and rapid changes of state borders are shown on interactive maps.
“In a narrative museum, multimedia are an important element of the set design, often the main transmitter of information, and a carrier of emotions. However, videos, sounds, installations, and presentations cannot dominate over the exhibits and the set design. There needs to be harmony between them,” says professor Rafał Wnuk, co-author of the exhibition at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. “I think that the Museum of the Second World War has managed to reach such an equilibrium. In the opinion of the leading European and American specialists, the multimedia produced by New Amsterdam are of world-class quality. What makes me even happier is that the visitors are equally enthusiastic about them.”
The exhibits and modern multimedia help get the message across say New Amsterdam. These include presentations, videos, charts, and texts available for the visitors to absorb with a number of senses in 250 separate locations created by the New Amsterdam/No Label consortium. The main exhibition comprises three closely related thematic areas that allow the visitors to look at World War II as a complex process reflected not only in politics, but also economy, political geography, and sociology. The Road to War, The Terror of War, and The Long Shadow of War make up the path that guides the visitors through the meanders of the conflict.
“In the first three weeks there were more than 20,000 visitors to the new museum who experienced the innovative multimedia presentations,” said Krzysztof Tkaczyk, Executive Creative Director at New Amsterdam. “These organically fitted into the set design with the addition of games that have increased involvement and immersions of the visitors without obscuring the stories told. We are proud that those who still remember the horrors of the war were greatly impressed by the exhibition.”
The museum also stands out architecturally, with a number of citizens already claiming it as one of the symbols of the city. As well as the exhibits and multimedia offer, the museum also has a library, a reading room, and educational and conference rooms. The top floor houses a restaurant and a café that offer a magnificent view of Gdańsk. The area surrounding the museum has also been designed to offer rest opportunities to visitors.
Visit New Amsterdam at the Museums + Heritage Show on May 17 and 18 at stand B2. For free registration click here.