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Pawiak Prison Museum

Muzeum Więzienia Pawiak, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski

This special place in Warsaw commemorates the old prison that operated in this place from 1835 to 1944. Incarcerated within its walls were Polish patriots who fought the Russian partitioning authorities, after 1918 political prisoners – mainly communists, and during World War II, people detained in round-ups, often women and children, but also members of the resistance movement. Located in the very centre of the city, the prison was witness to mass murders that shook occupied Warsaw. It is estimated that about 100,000 prisoners passed through Pawiak, of whom nearly 37,000 were shot, and about 60,000 sent to concentration camps and forced labour. On 21 August 1944, the Germans blew up almost the entire prison complex.
Today, the museum is located in the surviving prison blocks VII and VIII. The exhibition is made up of the prison corridor in block VII and five cells, including quarantine and death cells, which were reconstructed according to drawings, descriptions and accounts of prisoners. At the exhibition you will also see original equipment, poems, diaries, secret messages, calendars as well as various small items made by prisoners.

Take a look at the statue of the Pawiak tree – a bronze copy of the famous elm, on which the families of victims placed epitaphs. Alongside the fragment of the gate, the tree was the only surviving post-war testimony to the existence of the prison.

ul. Dzielna 24/26
www.muzeum-niepodleglosci.pl/pawiak

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