On 19th April, Let Memory Unite Us

Redakcja, 12th April 2017
For the fifth time, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews will commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. On 19th April, more than 1,000 volunteers will go out onto the streets of Warsaw to hand out, this year, around 100,000 paper daffodils - a symbol of remembrance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Around 1,000 schools, libraries and cultural institutions from around Poland will join in the event, among them from Łódź, Bielsko-Biała, Płock and Katowice, as well as overseas partners from the USA, Germany, Denmark and Israel.

During the Fifth Daffodils Campaign, volunteers will hand out around 100,000 paper daffodils on the streets of Warsaw. Volunteers will be on the capital's streets between 8:00am and 7:00pm at the POLIN Museum (Anielewicza Street), the Warsaw Jewish Community (Chmielna Street), the Meeting House With History (Karowa Street), the Żoliborz District Administration (Słowackiego Street), the Warsaw Praga Museum (Targowa Street), as well as in the suburbs of Ursynów, Mokotów and Saska Kępa.

The Daffodils Campaign volunteer since 2014, Ala Lesiakowa said, "For me, this is a great chance to meet people whom I otherwise would never meet - to be able to talk to them, to listen to emotional memories, to do something important so that this history and the people should never be forgotten".

It is not only individuals who volunteer for the Daffodils Campaign. Schools, libraries and institutions also take part. Schools from all around Poland who are interested can simply fill out this form before 18th April. Teachers and staff from these institutions will then have at their disposal special education materials.

"Memory is life", says Agnieszka Holland, ambassador for the fifth daffodil event. Others to also participate this year include Anja Rubik, Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Agata Kulesza and Maciej Musiał.

Anja Rubik said, "I agreed to take part in the Daffodils Campaign, organised by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, because I consider that it is an important campaign of emembrance. History should teach us and guard us against making the same mistakes. Remembering this is important for democracy, freedom, respect and equality, as well as for the ethnic and religious diversity which enriches our world".

Check out supporters of the Daffodils Campaign

As in each year, at 12 noon on 19th April, a memorial ceremony, commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, will take place at the Ghetto Heroes Monument in Muranów, organised by the Social-Cultural Association of jews in Poland.

As part of the 74th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, POLIN Museum is also organising two events. The first will take place at 6:00pm on 19th April - the screening of the monodrama "Nadludzka medycyna (Superhuman Medicine)", directed by Waldemar Dziki, starring Maja Komorowska, and based on the recollections of Adina Blady-Szwajger, a paediatrician in the Warsaw Ghetto and and liaison officer with the Jewish Fighting Organisation (ŻOB). The screening will be followed by an interview with the film's star conducted by film critic Tadeusz Sobolewski. At 8:00pm on 21st April, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising will be remembered through a concert by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. The program will feature works by Mieczysław Weinberg, Władysław Szpilman, Richard Addinsell and the premiere of a composition by Jerzy Maksymiuk, who will conduct the orchestra.

For this year's the Daffodils Campaign, POLIN Museum has created a mural at the Centrum Metro Station. This endeavour has been supported Warsaw City Council, which made space available for the project. It will present individuals who were directlt connected with the Uprising - Marek Edelman, Paweł Frenkel Cywia Lubetkin, Mordechaj Anielewicz and Szymon "Kazik" Ratajzer. The mural's creator is Andrzej Wieteszka. It will remain on display until 23rd April.

On 19th April, our website www.polin.pl will feature the stories of people whose testimonies recall the dramatic events of this bloody uprising. POLIN Museum educators also recommend the film "Nie było żadnej nadziei. Powstanie w getcie warszawskim 1943" (There Was No Hope - the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto 1943) as an educational resource, featuring a screenplay based on oral history interviews. The story of Marek Edelman can also be learned through the multi-platform Żydowska Warszawa (Jewish Warsaw). Among items to be found there is a comic book explaining the significance of the daffodil, as well as a detailed description of the events of 1943.

More historical information

Why Daffodils?

The daffodil symbolises memory, respect and hope. It is connected with the figure of Marek Edelmana, the least leader of the Jewish Fighting Organisation who, on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, would receive daffodils from an anonymous person. On the 19th April, he himself would lay a wreath of the yellow flowers of the Ghetto Heroes Monument - often, they would be his own daffodils. Operation Daffodil is an important social-educational project remembering the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto.

The uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is an important symbol for the world of fighting for dignity. However, in Poland, the ghetto uprising remains insufficiently known. We want Operation Daffodil to help make memory of the uprising to be a part of the common historical awareness of both Poles and Jews, one of the elements in the formation of the identity of the capital's population.

The Daffodils Campaign is made possible thanks to the support of the Norway Foundation and the EOG through iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Co-organiser of this year's Operation Daffodil is the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.