Exhibitions - Instytut Pileckiego

Called by Name

The exhibition tells the story of people who were outlawed and murdered without trial simply because they helped those whom the occupiers considered “subhuman”.

Years later, we can recall the faces of Poles murdered for rescuing Jews and give a voice back to their loved ones. The materials collected over the course of research into the fates of the “Called by Name” – archival documents and photographs, objects belonging to the victims, interviews with their families, and studies on the German terror apparatus to which the inhabitants of occupied Poland were subjected – served as the foundation for the “Called by Name” exhibition.

Explore the stories of those who acted with kindness and decided to help others: Visit the exhibition at “Dom Bez Kantów” at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street 11 in Warsaw.

Visiting and Workshops: Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00 (Workshops after reservation)

Reservations: +48 539 093 336, zapisy@instytutpileckiego.pl

Registration form - click here

Free entry ! ! !

The Choice to Save Lives

It is the first exhibition of this scale devoted to the activities of Polish diplomats who strove to rescue Jews in occupied Poland and other European countries during World War II.
The exhibition presents the figures who fought not on the battlefront, but at their desks – armed with only a signature and a stamp.

At the heart of the exhibition is the group of Polish diplomats led by Aleksander Ładoś, Head of the Polish Legation in Bern, who cooperated with Jewish organizations to issue illegal Latin American passports to European Jews. These documents gave their holders a chance for surviving the Holocaust. The Group was comprised of Aleksander Ładoś, Juliusz Kühl, Stefan Ryniewicz, Konstanty Rokicki, Chaim Eiss and Abraham Silberschein.

The exhibition also presents the stories of other Polish diplomats who were active before and throughout World War II – Feliks Chiczewski, Wojciech Rychlewicz, Tadeusz Romer and Henryk Sławik.

Come visit the exhibition!

Dom Bez Kantów, “DeBeK” gallery, 11 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street
Open from tuesday to sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm

Liberated Twice. The political rights of women 1918

On 28 November 1918, Polish women gained active and passive voting rights through a decree issued by the Head of State, an act that placed Poland among the most democratic and modern countries in Europe. But what came before? What was the journey that successive generations of women had to undergo so that on 26 January 1919, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers from large and small cities, noble manors, and rural homes went to the polling stations in the middle of a freezing winter to elect representatives, and most importantly, female representatives, for the first time in history? Paleolog, Gertz, Kretkowska, Szczerbińska – meet Poland’s women emancipators, independence activists, and social workers! On the centenary of granting voting rights to Polish women, we present their extraordinary journey for a free Poland and equal rights for women and men.

The exhibition was awarded in the 2018 edition of the “Polish Graphic Design Awards” in the “Wayfinding” category.

The exhibition was presented in many cities in Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Slovenia.

Lemkin. Witness to the Age of Genocide

On 9 December 1948, the United Nations unanimously adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Thus, genocide was officially recognized as a crime under international law. Among those present in the Palace de Chaillot in Paris was the creator of the concept of “genocide” and the author of the draft of the Convention, Rafał Lemkin – a Polish lawyer of Jewish origin.

“Lemkin. Witness to the Age of Genocide” is the title of the first-ever exhibition in Poland, organized by the Pilecki Institute, to be devoted entirely to the person of Rafał Lemkin. Its opening coincided with the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which Lemkin considered as his life’s work. Warsaw, the city where he had had his legal practice and from which he fled before the advancing German forces in September 1939, suffered heavily from German crimes – the victims of which included both Jews and Poles – throughout the War, and this makes it a fitting location to speak about the life and achievements of Rafał Lemkin.

The exhibition was presented in Warsaw, at the UN headquarters in New York, in Bochum, in Berlin and at Valdosta University in the USA.

The Volunteer. Witold Pilecki and his Mission in Auschwitz

Presentation of the story hitherto unknown and untold outside Poland – that of Pilecki’s mission to Auschwitz, of his death at the hands of the Communist authorities, and of the attempts made to erase him from memory.

The complicated history of Poland in the 20th century is made up not only of military campaigns, the German occupation, and the crimes of Stalinism. History has many dimensions, and one of them is predominantly human – the dimension of the individual. From amongst many heroes, oftentimes nameless, the man who stands out as a symbol of the struggle against Communist and Nazi totalitarianism is worthy of our particular attention. Logically, therefore, there was no doubt that the exhibition marking the opening of the branch of the Pilecki Institute in Berlin would be devoted to Witold Pilecki.

Virtual tour of the exhibition (click).

The exhibition inaugurated the presence of the Pilecki Institute in Berlin in 2019.


The exhibition shows the role played by the Polish Government-in-Exile and the Polish Underground State in informing the world about the Holocaust, and in activities undertaken to save Jews on territories occupied by Nazi Germany.

It was organized in connection with research conducted by the Polish Embassy in Switzerland and the Pilecki Institute, which resulted in the publication of a list of persons of Jewish origin who thanks to the efforts of the so-called Ładoś Group received passports of various Latin American countries. Many of them owed their lives to these documents. The exposition is an exhaustive presentation of the activities of the Ładoś Group and its leading figures, chief among them Chaim Eiss and Aleksander Ładoś. The artefacts include some of the original passports and correspondence between Chaim Eiss and Polish diplomats. Letters sent by Jews detained in ghettos and by Abraham Silberschein, who was one of the intermediaries in contacts between Polish Jews and the Legation, are also on display.


The exhibition tells the story of the unsuccessful prosecution of SS Gruppenführer Heinz Reinefarth, commander of German formations that massacred tens of thousands of civilian residents of Warsaw’s Wola district in the first days of August 1944.

After the war, Reinefarth became the mayor of the resort town of Westerland on the island of Sylt in West Germany, and a deputy in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein. He worked as a lawyer and enjoyed respect from the community. Despite many efforts, he was never brought to justice.

The exhibition “Wola 1944: Obliteration. Genocide and the Reinefarth Case” is based on a collection of over a hundred file photographs from the investigation into Reinefarth by the prosecution in Flensburg from 1961 to 1967. It was the most earnest attempt and the last chance to judge the main perpetrator of the crimes in Wola. Unfortunately, it ended in failure. The photos, witness testimonies, evidence, and statements of investigators come together to form a retrospective narrative about the fate of Wola’s residents in the first days of August 1944. They also reveal the behind-the-scenes workings of the post-war German justice system, which even in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when attempts were made to prosecute perpetrators, proved to be glaringly ineffective, even in the case of the most blatant crimes.

The organization of the exhibition was made possible through the long-term research of Hanna Radziejowska on the Reinefarth case and the extensive archival program of the Pilecki Institute, which systematically digitizes masses of documents from both Polish and foreign archives related to the Polish experience of two totalitarianisms.

The exhibition was presented in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Berlin, and Schleswig-Holstein.


The Augustów Roundup was the largest crime committed against Poles by the Red Army and Soviet security services after the end of World War II. It was a symbol of the dramatic fate of Central and Eastern Europe, which in 1945 fell under the influence of the Soviet Union for several decades.

At the exhibition, we present a collection of photos of people murdered by the Soviets during the Augustów Roundup. These photographs are the only way the images of the victims of the Roundup have survived to the present day. Thanks to advanced digital reconstruction and colorization technology, the exhibition restores the true faces of these individuals to our memory. Standing face to face with them, we perceive the magnitude of loss and the scale of the crime that cut short the lives of these brave young people so full of passion and plans for the future.

In November 2021, the exhibition was nominated in the “Social Impact” category for the prestigious “Project of the Year” award by the Association of Graphic Designers.

The exhibition was presented in Warsaw, Augustów, Gdynia, and Suwałki.


The multimedia exhibition "SHARDS OF UNJUDGED CRIMES - Ukrainian eyewitness tests of Russian crimes" was created on the basis of eyewitness accounts of Russian crimes committed in Ukraine.

The exhibition is not only a shocking portrayal of Russian crimes but, first and foremost, a lasting testimony to the events that followed 24 February 2022.

"The title of the exhibition, “Shards of Unjudged Crimes,” is not accidental. We envisioned a large mirror in which we saw the beautiful Ukrainian land that someone came and destroyed, shattering the glass. It broke into millions of pieces, scattered around the world. Ukrainian refugees are not just in Ukraine and Poland, but in all European countries, the United States, and Canada. Our task is to gather these shards and examine the war through these fragments of the mirror" said Jakub Kiersikowski, the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition was showcased in Berlin and Warsaw.


“Urban networks of modernism and the role of Jewish architects – the case of Gdynia (Poland)”

The exhibition presents the interwar architecture of Gdynia through the prism of selected projects by Polish architects of Jewish origin. They constituted an important group of creators involved in modernization efforts focused on the reconstruction and redevelopment of Poland during the interwar period, actively contributing to the advancement of contemporary architectural language. Towards the end of the 1930s, some of them were deprived of the right to practice their profession, and with the outbreak of the Second World War, many were forced to flee for their lives and were persecuted or murdered by the occupying German forces. Due to the wartime events and the fates of these architects in the post-war period, some of these figures remain unknown to this day. Others are still remembered, but their lives and work deserve broader interest and appreciation.

The architectural projects presented at the exhibition represent only an example of the rich legacy of Jewish architects operating in Gdynia during the interwar period. A significant number of these buildings, like those showcased at the exhibition, have survived to this day, often with their original design documentation.

The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des Lebens und Wirkens deutschsprachiger jüdischer Architekten (GjA) association and the Pilecki Institute in Berlin as part of the Ćwiczenie Nowoczesności / Exercising Modernity program.

The exhibition was first presented in November 2022 in Berlin as part of the Triennale der Moderne festival. It was showcased in Gdynia in June 2023.