Fot. Jerzy Wypych

Private collections of Breslau memorabilia – new exhibition at the OP ENHEIM Gallery

on 29 May, the OP ENHEIM Gallery opened its doors to visitors with a new and unique guest exhibition entitled “Putting Things Back in Their Place: Jewish Breslauers and Their Objects”. Organised in conjunction with the Urban Memory Foundation, this exhibition is a unique endeavour in Poland, focusing on and created in collaboration with the private collections of Jewish families from pre-war Breslau (today’s Wrocław).

The exhibition aims to show what life was like for Jewish residents of Breslau in its various aspects – private, religious, cultural and professional. The exhibition will answer questions about pre-war family, community and city life. The exhibition features almost a hundred objects, photographs and documents that come from the private collections of twelve families of former Breslauers, now scattered around the world. The exhibition covers the period from the 18th century to the present day, and all materials are available in three languages: Polish, English and German.

Photo: Jerzy Wypych


The strength and cultural value of the exhibited objects lies in their connection to personal stories. Each exhibit tells an individual, often moving story of its owners, who were forced to leave Breslau during the Nazi persecution. Everyday objects, furniture, books, family heirlooms and works of art were taken out of the city by the Herz, Hadd, Freund, Tischler, Zadik, Falk, Sklarz, Peritz and other families, never to return.

Silver tiara and brooch of the Freund and Falk families – 1892. USA
Symphony from the Bial-Freund shop range, circa 1900 GERMANY
Mezuzah from the Oppenheim House, parchment, 19th-20th century. Photo by Paweł Góral, SPARK Civic Accelerator Foundation

The exhibition is also accompanied by a contemporary art commentary. Berlin-based artist Anna Schapiro presents site-specific work, exploring the layers of history contained within the objects on display. Schapiro explores the stories that these objects carry with them and the way in which unseen and neglected aspects of the past are intertwined with the present. The artist’s leitmotif is the history of the kilim presented in the exhibition. In her work, she creates new layers of plasticity by applying them to the walls of OP ENHEIM, thereby interacting with the exhibition space.

Anna painting a picture. Photo by Wojciech Chrubasik

As part of the exhibition, meetings with descendants and descendants of families of Breslau Jews are also planned, as well as a series of thematic walks that will provide a deeper understanding of the stories and objects on display. The exhibition “Putting Things Back In Their Place: Jewish Breslauers and Their Objects” is not only a journey into the past, but also a reflection on how history affects our lives today.


Read also: Architecture in Poland | History | Curiosities | Wrocław | Exhibition | Tenement house | Culture

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