Overwhelmed by the drama of history, can we perceive beauty in places that people in the past made horrible and ugly? Can the remains of World War II camps be the subject of an artistic experience today? These and many other questions, but also answers, will emerge during a visit to the latest exhibition of Sławoj Dubiel's works. The artist-photographer, who has been cooperating with our Museum for many years, this time has aimed the lens of his camera at the relics of Stalag 318/VIII F (344) Lamsdorf - the place where one of the largest Wehrmacht's prisoner-of-war complexes in Europe existed in the years 1939-1945.
The exhibition consists of 28 photographs which present the contemporary state of the camp building infrastructure which underwent a comprehensive conservation work by the Central Museum of Prisoner-of-War in 2019. It was then when the photos documenting the bare fragments of walls and floors, full of cracks, scratches, irregularities and curves, were taken. The black-and-white photographs encourage to reflection on the physical aspect of the ruins and individual contemplation of this specific place. It was 78 years ago, when Barbara Lewandowska, codename "Wira", a 15year-old nurse at that time, was taken to this place, and with whose memories the tour of this interesting exhibition begins.
It is also possible to see numerous artefacts from our collection, which were found during the exploration and restored: soldiers' badges, canteens, cutlery, uniform buttons, steel horseshoes for military boots, and above all prisoner-of-war identification tags, the so-called dog tags, and other small personal items.
The exhibition can be visited until November 7 this year, from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Opole seat of the Museum.