Introduction


March 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Polish student revolt, which was the start of the persecution of Jews in communist Poland. The persecutions resulted in massive Jewish emigration from Poland. About 13,000 Polish Jews left the country in the years 1968-72 as political refugees. This Jewish Exodus from Poland is known as March-emigration.

The project "Man Overboard – Jews from Lodz 50 years after March" seeks to shed light on the fate of the Polish Jews from the city of Lodz, who left Poland in this period. The name Lodz or Łódź (as it is spelled in Polish) means boat and the title “Man Overboard” symbolically refers to Lodz Jews' struggle for survival in alien environments “without a life jacket”.

The project includes over 60 persons from all walks of life who nearly 50 years ago settled and made a living in Denmark, Sweden, Israel, USA and other countries. In filmed interviews, the Lodz Jews share with us their lives and their experience as refugees. They tell us about their struggle for survival, about their successes, their joys and worries, about what they have gained, and perhaps what they have lost. Through the interviews, they show us the fabric they are made of - how they integrated and realized themselves in foreign societies, what challenges they had to face, what difficulties they had to overcome, what they had achieved, what personal costs they had to bear as refugees.

Similar questions we asked Lodz Jews, who decided to stay in Lodz in spite of the persistent anti-Jewish smear campaign. They reveal to us what life in Lodz looked like for them, what were the problems they had to cope with and how they look at their decision and its consequences from a 50-year-long perspective.


Goals of the project


The Man Overboard interviews will be presented as solo exhibitions in Denmark and Poland in 2018, 50 years after the Polish Jews were forced out of their country.
In general, the goal of the project is to:
  • put a spotlight on an historical event to illustrate its Polish and Danish perspectives, as well as its educational and human narratives
  • record the testimonies of people, who were forced to flee their homeland, had to build their lives from scratch in exile - the people who soon might not be here to share their experiences
  • raise awareness that Denmark gave protection to 2.500-3.000 Polish Jews who were forced to leave their home country as stateless refugees
  • spread the knowledge that the persecution of the Jews again took place in communist Poland shortly after the European Jewry had been exterminated by Nazi-Germany, a persecution that hit many Holocaust survivors barely 25 years after the Holocaust and shattered their perhaps gained confidence and belief that victimizing of the Jews was a thing of the past
  • make Denmark and the other host nations realize that the Polish Jews have quickly and easily integrated and assimilated into their societies bearing witness to their societies’ openness and tolerance
  • show Denmark and the other host nations that the Polish Jews have been thriving, successful and loyal citizens of their countries, raising up their children and grandchildren to be loyal nationals and citizens

The exhibition


“Man overboard” is an interdisciplinary project of universal and multilevel character. The result will be a multimedia exhibition, where people talk about their lives, about their experiences as refugees, about how they managed to integrate into their various host communities.

The exhibition will employ different presentation and communication platforms like portrait gallery, video installations and documentary film.

The project's universal character and versatility, paired with the exhibition's physical mobility, creates basis and possibility for the exhibition to wander from place to place or to be presented at different places simultaneously. The exhibition operates on multiple levels, historical and educational, and will preserve its relevance for a longer period of time. It is not just a one-time anniversary exhibition in commemoration of a particular event.

Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Lodz is hosting the exhibition on the anniversary of the events in March 2018. The exhibition can be visited until 30th of September 2018.
By June 2018, the exhibition was seen by more then 9.000 visitors.

A part of the exhibition have been placed at the modern Lodz Fabryczna Railway Station where thousands of passengers will be made aware of Man Overboard exhibition before and when it’s open at the Dialogue Center. This part of exhibition was sponsored by Maria Wronska-Friend from Australia.

In May 2018 the multimedia part of the exhibition has been presented at the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen.

The exhibition lasted two weeks and was seen by over 1.000 visitors.

Presentation of the documentary movie during the Singer Festival in Warsaw will take place on August 30, 2018 at 18:30 at the Centrum Kultury Jidysz, ul. Andersa 15.

Organized in cooperation with Centrum Dialogu im. Marka Edelmana in Lodz.

Exhibition at Copenhagen Town Hall in Denmark will find place on 5th of November 2018.

The realization


Kamila Bogulewska is the originator of the project "Man Overboard" // photographs, realization of the project, editing of video footage

People invited to implement the project:
Aleksander Milchtach Sław // interviews and texts
Bartosz Dąbrowski // video recording and graphic design
Gabriela Kołodziej // editing of the documentary movie "Man Overboard. Jews from Lodz 50 Years after March" and thematic movies
Production // Foto Bart GbR - Kamila Bogulewska and Bartosz Dabrowski

Contact:

Phone: +45 53 73 10 10
Phone: +48 609 623 618


Protectors


Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Lodz and Director Joanna Podolska is hosting the exhibition and became official protector of the "Man Overboard" project.

The Polish embassy in Copenhagen has expressed its official support and interest for the project. The embassy, with the Polish Ambassador, Henryka Moscicka-Dendys, is also the official protector for the project.

The Danish Cultural Institute in Warsaw has chosen to be the official protector of the Man Overboard project.

Sponsors and Partners

Sponsors and Partners