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Poland's New World War II Museum Just Opened, But Maybe Not For Long

The museum opened March 23 in Gdansk, where the war began. "This is the museum of a war, but not a military museum," says historian Pawel Machcewicz. The government wants something different.
The Museum of the Second World War opened last month amid uncertainty about its future. Source: NurPhoto

There's a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Apparently, so is history.

In the case of Poland's new Museum of the Second World War, the beholder is the nationalist government. Run by the populist Law and Justice Party, it has declared the museum an expensive mess that waters down Polish history and should be closed — or at a minimum, revamped. The museum opened March 23 in the northern port city of Gdansk, where World War II began when Germany invaded the city in 1939.

"This is the museum of a war, but this is not a military museum," explains museum director and historian Pawel Machcewicz. "This is

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