The decision to choose Gdańsk as the location for the Museum of the Second World War is not surprising. After all, it is the place where the first shots of the war were fired. What is unusual, though, is the eye-opening take on the war that this ambitious museum presents.
Not only is the location of the museum symbolic, but also its architecture, with three zones that reflect the link between the wartime past, present and future. The design of the museum building has been applauded by the international community of architects.
What makes this museum different from other institutions of this kind is its attempt to present the Second World War from a wider perspective, not only from the perspective of one nation. Its focus is on politics, ideologies and wartime experiences in different countries, rather than the purely military aspects of the war. The three parts, eighteen rooms of thematic sections and thought-provoking displays show us the different ideologies that led to war, the horrors of the war that the civil population and the soldiers in different countries had to go through, and the shattering consequences of the war.
The museum combines modern technology with traditional display methods. The biggest objects in the museum are two tanks and a German-built wooden rail car. However, the true uniqueness and strength of the permanent exhibition lies in the small objects, many of which are very personal and have been donated by private individuals. These include letters, personal belongings, photographs and memorabilia.
The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm from September to June and from 10 am to 8 pm in July and August. It is closed on Mondays. In the high season we strongly recommend buying your tickets beforehand. We also recommend dedicating at least 2-3 hours to visit the museum.