27 May 2019 marks the symbolic start of the construction of a Museum and Memorial commemorating General Stanisław Maczek in the Dutch city of Breda. The opening of the facility co-authored by the Polish History Museum is scheduled for 2020.
The attendees of the event in Breda included president of the Breda-Polen 1939-1945 Foundation Frans Ruczynski, president of the General Maczek Museum and Memorial Willem Krzeszewski and director of the Polish History Museum Robert Kostro.
Soon, the construction of a single-story pavilion will begin, featuring an open space divided into exhibition/cinema and educational sections as well as a ‘room of reflection’. The visitors will be able to see an authentic US Sherman tank through huge glass walls. The Museum will be located close to the cemetery with graves of Polish soldiers of the First Armoured Division and General Maczek himself.
The Memorial’s exhibition is going to comprise exhibits from the collection of the Breda-Polen 1939-1945 Foundation, such as historical military vehicles and weapons as well as photographs and films never published before. The Polish History Museum co-authors the permanent exhibition at the Memorial preparing an interactive multimedia wall showing the fate of Gen. Maczek’s soldiers. Thanks to multimedia, the visitors will be able to learn about the pre-war history of individual heroes, their personal service on the front as well as their lives after the end of the armed conflict.
In the autumn, an open-air exhibition entitled ‘General Stanisław Maczek and His Soldiers’, prepared by the Polish History Museum will be available in Warsaw and then in Breda. It will be accompanied by a catalogue, a popular science publication and a documentary film as well as an e-exhibition on the international platform Google Arts&Culture. The entire project will be crowned with and summed up by an international scientific conference. The event is going to be one of nationwide commemorative events marking the outbreak of the Second World War.
On 29 October 1944, the First Armoured Division led by Gen. Stanisław Maczek pushed the Germans out of the Dutch city of Breda. It was liberated with no civilian casualties or destruction of its historical buildings, for which the locals were immensely grateful to the Poles. After the war, many Polish soldiers settled in and around Breda setting up their families there.
The project funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Photograph: Breda-Polen 1939-1945 Foundation / General Maczek Museum and Memorial