The Sybir Memorial Museum is the only institution in Poland, and perhaps in the world, entirely devoted to people who, from the end of the 18th century until the middle of the 20th century, were deported deep into Russia and deported to the Soviet Union. We also tell about those who, before the Russian Revolution, discovered and actively participated in the development of vast areas of Siberia. Our story seamlessly combines the narrative of historians with the memories of participants and witnesses of the events. We show dramatic emotions hidden in seemingly ordinary objects, and at the same time take visitors into a completely virtual space of Sybir.
The Sybir Memorial Museum is a common work of the Sybiraks generation and their grandchildren, who together tell the world about people thrown by fate into the huge depths stretching between the Ural Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, into the depths of human decline and almost inhuman survival force: somewhere between Siberia and Sybir.
In the light of the fate of Poles and other citizens of the multinational Second Polish Republic, we show universal truths about human cruelty and fraternal strength of survival, about the ideological madness of totalitarianisms and about the basic moral values developed by civilization.
The Sybir Memorial Museum is located in one of the pre-war military warehouses, directly adjacent to the railway siding of the former Poleski Railway Station. In 1940—1941 and in 1944, it was here that the Soviets loaded the inhabitants of the Bialystok region into wagons in order to deport them to Sybir. From here, in 1943, the Germans deported Jews from the ghetto in Bialystok to the extermination camp in Treblinka. The original Russian freight car, a symbol of those dramatic moments, stands today inside the Museum building on the tracks stretching along the old siding. It acts as the gate through which visitors enter the exhibition.
A simple block of a former warehouse, built of concrete and red brick, hides the main exhibition. In turn, in the adjacent modern building, fully covered with steel sheet, there is a conference room, administrative, storage and conservation facilities, as well as a restaurant serving borderland dishes. There are also educational studios and a bookstore in the museum.
Next to the Museum building, a forest of steel poles with ambiguous symbolism has grown up: on the one hand, they can bring to mind lost lives, people who left for Sybir and never came back, and on the other — the endless and frosty Siberian taiga.
The project “Implementation of the permanent exhibition and purchase of equipment for the Sybir Memorial Museum” is implemented under Measure 8.1 Protection of cultural heritage and development of cultural resources, the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Program 2014—2020 of the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport