"Those Were The Days of Majdanek." History of museum events 1945–2015
The Days of Majdanek were an event with a history nearly as long as that of the State Museum at Majdanek itself. They were first organized in September 1945. The idea for the event was first proposed in the circles of former Majdanek prisoners and quickly found considerable public support. Other members of the event’s organizing committee included representatives of cultural and scientific circles, local authorities and social organizations. For many years, the Society for the Protection of Majdanek, established in November 1945, served as the main organizer of the event while also supporting other efforts of the Museum at Majdanek opened in the autumn of 1944.
The Days of Majdanek were intended to serve the purpose of commemorating the camp's victims, but also provided an opportunity to disseminate information about WWII. Therefore, the main ceremonies always took place at Majdanek, although, as part of the event, meetings with former prisoners, film screenings, and war-themed exhibitions were organized throughout Poland.
The formula of the Days of Majdanek evolved with the changing political climate in Poland, from religious and patriotic events in the 1940s, through mass rallies and manifestations at the height of the People's Republic of Poland, to the modern-day thematic meetings devoted to important museum-related issues.
The present exhibition, prepared on the basis of rich source material documenting the activities of the Museum and the Society for the Protection of Majdanek, provides a historical overview of the Days of Majdanek until the jubilee year of 2015, when the event was organized for the last time. The Days of Majdanek went down in history as one of the most recognizable cyclical museum events which, over a period of seven decades, was attended by several generations of Poles.
Concept and script: Anna Wójcik, Joanna Cieślik
Editing and proofreading: Dorota Niedziałkowska
Graphic design: Izabela Tomasiewicz
Translation: Witold Wojtaszko, Lech Remiszewski
Archival materials: State Museum at Majdanek