Pomerania Online: Museum of Stories

Regional culture is a living and changeable organism. In reference to Pomerania, this is most evident in the example of the Żuławy region, where after World War II there was a mixing of populations from different regions of Poland. In 1945, some of the natives left for Germany, some decided to stay, others were deported to Siberia. Settlers from central and southern Poland, as well as from the Eastern Borderlands, came to Żuławy. They occupied abandoned post-German farms plundered as a result of Soviet military actions. Some wooden houses were dismantled to be used as firewood; settlers also did not value objects found in their new circumstances - neglect and lack of awareness of their value meant that many material traces of the culture of Żuławy's inhabitants before World War II, such as agricultural and household equipment, souvenirs, and paintings, were lost.

However, the image of the old times is painted by the Museum of Stories, created by the Association of Lovers of New Town of Gdańsk - Nowodworski Club. As the name suggests, the role of the exhibit is played by the story, i.e., an intangible, fleeting phenomenon. The museum has archived the memories of Żuławy's pre-war inhabitants - the result of this work is the documentary film "Marked by the Landscape". Currently, stories, photos, and documents of the post-war Żuławy settlers are being collected. All stories, both pre-war and post-war, are published by the Association on their website.

Each interview is a separate testimony of the region's history. We learn from them, among other things, about the escape from Żuławy before the approaching soldiers of the Red Army, but also about sentimental returns to one's homeland; we read about the difficulties of acclimatizing in a new, hostile area, about the omnipresent water and mud that made daily functioning difficult. However, there are also cheerful memories, such as those about the entertaining nature of narrow-gauge railway journeys, or about skating to do shopping on a frozen river. The Museum of Stories allows these memories to be saved from oblivion.

Prepared by: Agnieszka Domańska


Regional re-visions. Contemporary problems of cultural heritage, ed. A. Wierucka, M. Sacha, University of Gdańsk Publishing House, Gdańsk 2016.

To preserve the arcade. Written in the landscape and memory, ed. A. W. Brzezińska, J. Poczobut, Gdańsk - Pruszcz Gdański 2010.