Temporary exhibitions

Temporary exhibition I love You, see you...

The exhibition prepared by the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War does not shy away from difficult questions. Among them, there is the problem of loneliness of men and women during the Second World War. Both sexes had to progressed more quickly into independent living at that time and, in many cases, had to redefine themselves. The women had to cope with the reality of the occupation on their own. They raised children, cared for elderly parents, while struggling with the ever-present menace of hunger and the dangers of war. The defeated soldiers, held in prisoner-of-war camps, lived with a large group of men frustrated by their own helplessness and searching for substitutes of femininity and intimacy. Longing, hoping and loyally waiting for their beloved to return often proved to be only one possible scenario.

Relationships formed in captivity had different facets. Some were conducted via correspondence. Previously unknown women, who had sent letters and parcels to the camps, became the objects of the prisoners' affections. In the case of prisoners who worked outside barbed wire, in working parties, although it was forbidden, sometimes, intimate contacts with German women happened. However, these relationships were insecure and unstable. Loneliness, dilemmas and a strongly felt need for intimacy meant that love came in various guises.

The presented stories are told through accounts, letters and memories, as well as artefacts from the collections of the CMJW, Katyń Museum, Museum of Literature, and family archives.

The exhibition can be viewed at the Museum’s Opole seat from 14 March to 14 June 2024.

See you at the exhibition!


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