I’m a huge fan of museums. However, there has to be something to pique my interest to keep me keen. For example museums with rooms filled with showcases are not my thing. I simply do not have the stamina to go around and read all the text related to the artefacts on show.
I had heard that the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk was excellent, so I added it to my list of places to visit. However, I did not have time to look into it further, so I was happily surprised to find out that it was even better than I expected. The museum was very immersive, with expert use of sound and light and I found myself often very moved by what I experienced.
My favorite part was the children’s museum! I was inspired by how excellent it would be for a teacher to take their class. Before I go into it, I would like to point out that in my professional and personal opinion I do not think that this museum is suitable for children under 13 years old and I wouldn’t even take a child under 10 to the children’s museum unless I had prepared them for it beforehand thoroughly. I was shocked to see very small children with their parents going through the whole museum, sporting audioguides and listening to gruesome accounts of atrocities done during WW2. Poor kids, I hope they weren’t badly traumatized.
Anyway, to go back to the children’s museum. It consists of four rooms. First, you will go to a classroom where the children featured went to school. You can sit by the desk and imagine what it was like.
Then you are taken into the apartment where the family of four lived. You will experience it before the war, when things were changing and during the war. It is easy to imagine yourself in these scenes as it has been built into an immersive environment. You can see how the apartment changes, what happens outside from the window (via video) and feel it through the audio that has been created to make the scene.
I was very impressed and I am sure this museum will move the children who visit it. I would take caution with taking children or teens who have experienced war themselves as I can imagine the immersive aspect could trigger painful memories.
The whole museum would take at least half a day to go through thoroughly. My daughter and I did not realize how big it is, so we were taking our time in the beginning, studying everything with care to notice that we weren’t even halfway through. In the end we were too tired and had to speedwalk through the finale which is a pity as it was beautifully constructed all the way through.
I am very interested in WW2 history, so this museum was definitely a must see for me. Nevertheless, it has been created with expertise and made in a way that it comes about as interesting to anyone, so I recommend visitors going to Gdansk pay it a visit. Oh, unless you have small children with you, then it’s best to just admire the architecture from outside!
After our visit, we went to the nearby Guga Sweet and Spicy by the river for drinks, a vegan lunch and sun.
Have you visited the WW2 museum in Gdansk? What kinds of museums do you like to visit back home or on your travels?