Paweł Ukielski

PhD, deputy director of the Warsaw Rising Museum, member of the Executive Council of the European Memory and Conscience Platform.

The last sentence asking a question if Communism still has a future is outrageous for the people who were killed, tortured, died and suffered under Communist dictatorships - on the 1st anniversary of HEH's opening we publish EPMC report on this bias exhibition

Museum exhibitions are powerful tools to shape the remembrance of people. The narrative line, proportions, presented facts, language used and even the scenography of the display all those factors influence the visitors’ imagination of the presented past. Every exhibition, due to its nature, is a huge synthesis of history, where all the above mentioned factors play a vital role. Therefore it is not enough to judge an exhibition only on the level of details (if the facts presented are right or not), but also on many different levels, with a kind of „meta level” of the general message delivered to the auditorium, the way it interprets history.

Every exhibition leaves also impressions, feelings or interpretations, which stay with the visitors long after the tour. All those must be evaluated in order to deliver a complex judgement of the presentation’s value.

1.The overall message in the House of European History, one could have expected to find an exhibition that would build (or refer to) a common European identity and a pride in European values which stand behind the history of Europe and the European integration. As it is defined on the website: „The House of European History is dedicated to the understanding of the shared past and diverse experiences of European people. It's a place where you can discover different points of view and common ground in European history. The House thus becomes a meeting pointfor people of all generations and walks of life.”

However, this statement is unfortunately far from the truth. The House of European History’s message is everything but diverse. In the opinion of the Platform, the message of the exhibition in the House of European History is influenced by an ideological Hegelian or neo - Marxist interpretation of European history used. It creates a strong impression of the inevitable evolution and progress of European history after the French Revolution (1789) toward the ideal of a classless society. There are so me points that can be read as sympathy towards Communism (!). As one of the participants commented it: „too much comment, to few objects”. This refers also to data and numbers.

Read full text: https://www.memoryandconscience.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Report-on-the-HEH-by-the-Platform-of-European-Memory-and-Conscience-30.10.2017.pdf