"They were here". Art and social action

From Wednesday to Friday (5-7 October), as part of the 78th anniversary of arrival of the first transport of Warsaw insurgents to Stalalg 344 Lamsdorf's commemoration, in Opole Polregio passenger trains took place a publicity campaign entitled "There were here".

Our activity reoffered to the events from the beginning of October 1944, when the Germans when the Germans sent to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf a group of nearly 6,000 Warsaw insurgents, taken into captivity after the end of the fighting in the capital.

Commemorating the 78th anniversary of those events, the Museum, in association with the Marshal's Office of the Opole Voivodeship and the Ekostudio Theatre, organised a happening in Polregio passenger trains on the Opole-Nysa-Opole line. The event was based on a historical context. The action had elements of stage expression and informal historical didactics. Its purpose was to intrigue the travellers, to stimulate them to reflect on the past and to impart, in an original way, the knowledge about the fate of the insurgents after they left Warsaw. The happening was attended by actors, museum educators and unsuspecting passengers, who were given symbolic apples and cards with an extract from Barbara Lewandowska's memoirs about her transport to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf in October 1944:

It was a difficult journey. [...] we had a place right under the small window in a cattle truck. [...] if there were longer stops, the wagons were approached by local residents - Poles. [...] once in the Old Town [Warsaw centre], while on guard duty at dawn, a friend [...] told me that after the war we would be heroes. When we walk, they will throw flowers at us, and we will be applauded. It didn't come true, because he died, but when I was travelling in that wagon to the camp and unknown people approached us with gifts - and a drop of water was very precious at that time, and an apple smelled of a whole orchard - [...] it was as if I was on that parade.

The event was organised as part of the project entitled "Freedom is in them. Warsaw Insurgents 1944-2022', funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the Multiannual Government Programme "Niepodległa" for 2017-2022.

news list