The history of the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War dates back to 1964, when it was established as a branch department of the District Museum of Opole Silesia in Opole. However, as early as a year later the then Minister of Culture and Art raised the center, which came directly under the Ministry, to the rank of a state-run museum of the national status. Its name was changed a few times – at the beginning the institution functioned under the name of The Museum of Martyrdom of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice, since 1973 – as The Museum of Martyrdom and Fight of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice, and finally – since 1984 – it has had the current name.
In 1999, as a result of the administrative reform of the state, the Museum was subordinated to the local government of Opole Province. Presently, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage exercises a general control over the Museum and the direct supervision of it is the responsibility of the Board of Opole Province. The Museum is entered in the State Register of Museums, kept by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and is entitled to use the name “registered museum”. The entity is also listed in the register of local government institutions of culture, which is kept by Opole Province and has a legal personality.
In 2015, the Museum celebrated its 50th year of activity. For that occasion the jubilee exhibition “50/51” was prepared, featuring 51 exhibits specially selected for the purpose from the Museum collections. As part of the celebrations, there were also organized an international conference and a discussion panel held in Opole, as well as a concert in Opole Philharmonic Hall. In the same year, the Museum was awarded the highest distinction by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage – the gold medal of “Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis”
This has not been the only distinction awarded to the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War. Both the very institution itself and its personnel have been awarded honors and prizes for their educational activity, research and exhibitions. [More information on the prizes awarded to the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War is available here.