In the context of good diplomatic relations between Greece and Poland and Museum diplomacy, a photography exhibition was held in 2019 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II and the attack of Hitler’s forces on Poland (1 September 1939). This exhibition was titled “struggle and passions-the Poles in World War II” and was presented in the War Museum of Athens and later in other cities of the country,
The exhibition was curated by a team of historians at the BPP Museum in Gdansk, Poland on behalf of the country’s Foreign Minister. The purpose of the curators of the exhibition was to highlight the various forms of struggle of the Polish people towards the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century an exhibition that traveled to at least 60 countries. In addition, the exhibition aimed to illustrate the tragedy of the war and the efforts of Polish soldiers and civilians to regain a free homeland, as Poland was the first country to be attacked by the Third Reich. It was indisputable that a country such as Greece would host such an exhibition, since itself, during the war, came under fire from Nazi Germany.
Thus, this exhibition, through its collection of photographs depicting important political figures, War events and media, describes the history of the Polish people, the pain and suffering of the people, the desire and love for their freedom. As noted by the Ambassador of the Polish Republic Tomasz Wiśniewski in Athens, “Freedom is the highest value and the memory of the tragedy of the Second World War is our common duty and expresses our respect for the sacrifices of our ancestors. This is also the main message of the report”.
Museums once again demonstrate their role in the soft power of states and as soft power actors perform important and decisive work in the practical practice of Cultural Diplomacy. Museum Diplomacy is an integral part of a country’s diplomacy and they serve as culture ambassadors abroad. Thus, the event of the organization of the above exhibition leads the cultural institutions of the two countries Greece-Poland to upgrade the cultural agenda of the two peoples, thus contributing to the maintenance of good friendly relations and an atmosphere of cooperation and prosperity.
In summary, through cultural events, the promotion of historical events is achieved, being a means of study and acquisition of knowledge, contributing, in fact, to the wider promotion of the cultural heritage and identity of the countries. Greece and Poland count at least 100 years of diplomatic relations and it is undeniable that, in difficult times, one would help the other.