Museum

Budynek Muzeum w Opolu
Budynek Muzeum w Opolu

The Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice-Opole is a unique center on the European scale, which deals with the problem area relating to Prisoners-of-War and cer-tain questions pertaining to the recent history of Poland. The Museum runs scientific-research and documentation-related activity, organizes exhibitions and displays, publishes materials, runs conservation works, as well as activities of commemorative nature.

The Museum was established in 1964 as a branch of the Regional Museum of Opole Silesia in Opole. In 1965, it became the independent Museum of Martyrdom of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice, controlled by the Ministry of Culture and Art. In 1973, the official name was changed to the Museum of Martyrdom and Struggle of Prisoners-of-War in Łambi-nowice. Since 1984 the Museum has functioned under the name of The Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice-Opole, from 1999 being controlled by the local govern-ment of Opole Province.

Budynek Muzeum w Łambinowicach
Budynek Muzeum w Łambinowicach

The Museum has two seats: one in Łambinowice and one in Opole. They are set about 40 kilometers apart. The branch in Łambinowice comprises departments of Collections, Conservation and Education-Exhibition. From the moment of its foundation, the Museum has occupied the buildings-remnants of the German military artillery range (the former seat of the Wehrmacht headquarters and a guardhouse). The buildings were erected in the 1930s. After the War they were modernized several times (in the years 1964, 1989-1993, 2003-2004). Both buildings and also the reconstructed hut of Stalag 318/VIII F/344 Lamsdorf house a permanent exhibi-tion as well as temporary displays. The Museum in Łambinowice is situated within the site of national remembrance.

The branch in Opole includes the Director's office and the remaining departments: Sci-entific-Research, Documentation and the Library, Administration and Finances-Accountancy. The building at Minorytów Street, where the Museum is situated, has been its property since 1984 and has been used for the purpose since 1988 (prior to that the Museum was located in the building of the State Archives in Opole at Zamkowa Street). The present seat of the Mu-seum was probably built in the 18th century as a malt-house. After the reconstruction made at the beginning of the 19th century it was transformed into a prison building, housing a munici-pal detention house, and in the time of the Nazi occupation - a prison run by the Gestapo. In the 1980s, the building was adjusted to house the Museum, and - in the following decade - was substantially extended to meet its needs. It is only temporary exhibitions which are dis-played here.