exhibitions & events:
|Author: Michał Pszczółkowski, Maciej Kułakowski, Maciej Czechowski|
|Location of the exhibition: Exploseum|
In 1939-1945, one of the biggest armaments factories designed for the military activities of the Third Reich was built in the Bydgoszcz Forest. The conglomerate of secret production of gunpowder and ammunition, built by forced labor, was one of the companies of the enterprise Dynamit-Aktien Gesellschaft (DAG), which roots date back to the 1860s. During that time, Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and smokeless powder, the later founder of the famous Nobel Prize, established a company, which became the biggest manufacturer of explosive materials in Germany. The company had its heyday during the years of the Nazi regime. It manufactured such products as nitrocellulose, smokeless powder, dinitrobenzene, trinitrotoluene and – in the NGL Zone – nitroglycerine.
The Exploseum, operating in the area since July 2, 2011, presents technology of explosive materials, the history of this site, an atmosphere of that period, but first of all it documents slave labor of thousands of people, the heroic fight of the underground and acts of sabotage.
The Exploseum is a modern blend of a narrative-type museum, in which multimedia coexist with traditional forms of exposition. This unique example of industrial architecture has been preserved practically unchanged since the period of World War II. Visitors tour a route that surprises with various historical contexts, mysterious rooms and tunnels, filled with exhibits and “Explonats,” visiting a multilayered exhibition, divided into the following topics:
A story about the history of the DAG enterprise starts with presentation of the founder of the company. The exhibition features family portraits and a multimedia genealogical tree dedicated to the Nobel dynasty and its contemporary descendants. An important component of this part of the exhibition is the history of the Nobel Prize. There are also exhibits presenting the content of the inventor’s testament and less known Polonica related to this most important award in science.
Dynamit Aktien-Gesellschaft Concern
A history of the foundation, expansion and development of the company. The exhibition traces the history of the concern, starting from its establishing, through its takeover by the Third Reich and development under the supervision of IG Farben, and finally the influence of the DAG Concern on World War II. The exhibition presents information on various DAG companies, their productivity and location.
DAG Fabrik Bromberg
A story about the people, who worked here, designation of individual buildings and interesting facts related to the factory. The exhibition also features replicas of the original documents related to the DAG Fabrik Bromberg, aerial photographs taken in 1944, showing the vastness of the factory and “Explonats,” which are the original objects found during archeological works conducted on the premises of DAG.
History of weaponry
The biggest building of the 2nd zone of NGL allows to describe in detail the evolution of weaponry, starting from cold steel and siege weapons through firearms and explosives to the most powerful and deadly arms of ABC type (atomic, biological and chemical). In addition, one can see mockups of historical siege weapons, a film showing nuclear weapon testing and presentation of the most important battles of the 19th and 20th centuries with interesting facts related to World War II. It is an interactive exhibition – visitors can get familiar with replicas of cold steel and arms (ranging from fuse arms to modern firearms).
History of explosive materials
Development of explosive materials in the 19th and 20th centuries was depicted by presentation of the most important accomplishments in this field – from the use of black powder, invention of nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, to contemporary explosive materials such as hexogen and octogen.
Forced labor in the Third Reich
A shocking history of people, who worked in the Nazi industrial plants of DAG concern factories. It is an attempt to show the scale of forced labor, working conditions, the system of penalties and nutrition of laborers working for the Third Reich. The exhibition shows scans of original documents related to forced labor (e.g. workers’ ausweises, personal cards of Bydgoszcz residents working in DAG Allendorf, a set of penalties for forced labor, and a ticket for speaking in Polish), photos from a round-up in the area of Bydgoszcz as well as propaganda information and materials distributed by the Third Reich. A multimedia presentation accompanying the exhibition consists of, among others, reminiscences of the former workers of DAG.
The Home Army in the DAG Fabrik Bromberg
A history of one of the largest units of the Home Army, which was active in the area of today’s Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship as well as a story about its accomplishments, dispatches and sabotage campaigns. But first of all, it is a story about the heroic Bydgoszcz residents, who were fighting with the occupying forces, endangering their lives. In addition, the exhibition shows a story about Leszek Biały aka “Jakub” and “Radius,” who during the war served as Home Army communication manager in Pomerania. After the war, he was captured by the Security Office and was executed after severe torture.
The Red Army
This exhibition is an attempt to show the contribution of the Red Army to the victory over the Nazis. It presents - on the one hand - propaganda photographs of the Red Army, and - on the other hand – crimes committed by its soldiers on the Polish nation. In addition, there are original photographs depicting the liberation of Bydgoszcz, standard equipment of a Red Army soldier and a 1942 map of the world, on which the Americans along with the Russians planned a new, postwar order. There are also original drawings and inscriptions left on the building walls by forced laborers, Polish and Soviet soldiers.
The tour lasts approximately two hours and can be arranged ahead by calling the following number 883 366 056.
Exploseum permanent exhibition ticket price:
Exploseum temporary exhibition ticket price:
Normal ticket - 5 zł
Reduced ticket - 3 zł
Saturday – individual admission free only for permanent exhibition
North West Europe was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution. The legacy of the most radical change in economic history is a crucial element in the continent’s identity. Yet, as a result of modern structural changes, many parts of Europe have de-industrialised, leaving unemployment and physical dereliction. Dealing with such sites is expensive, calling for innovative solutions; a redundant plant is rarely viewed as a heritage resource. As industrial history is a common European heritage and the protection of such sites is such a difficult task, it was felt that it is an issue that could be appropriately tackled through co-operation between member states. To encourage the appreciation, understanding, protection and promotion of this common history as a means of achieving economic growth, the European Network of Industrial Heritage was formerly established under the ERIH Interreg II C project. Within this first ERIH a Master Plan was developed, identifying concrete ideas and activities to promote European Industrial Heritage.
The aim of the five year project, which brings together a dozen authorities, academic institutions, not-for-profit industrial heritage organisations and tourism bodies from three different member states that formed the heart of the Industrial Revolution, is to implement the master plan developed during ERIH I. The underlying objectives are to protect Europe’s industrial heritage sites and use their preservation as a motor for the development of regions that are often suffering from economic decline.
ERIH seeks to establish itself as a European brand for industrial heritage. To make this brand visible, ERIH develops a corporate design, including a logo, signage and print products.
The ERIH network intends to encourage the trans-national transfer of knowledge and the development of joint marketing strategies and cross-border initiatives. The project’s main instrument of communication will be the ERIH website, which will act both as a forum for experts to share knowledge and experience and a promotional tool to market industrial heritage to the public. Links to tourist websites and other organisations will help to raise public awareness, attract more visitors and ensure ERIH’s cross-sector integration. The website will also act as a promotional platform for Europe’s industrial heritage and a virtual library for the reports and documents produced during the project. The project will also publish a trans-national leaflet in four languages and promotional brochures for the regional routes.
The Route System
A key element of the project is the establishment of a network of Anchor Points, approx. 60 important industrial heritage sites possessing a well developed tourism infrastructure. For the final selection of the Anchor Points a Seal of Quality will be developed.
The job of the anchor points, which will be distinguished by common external and internal signage to show they are part of the network, is to provide information about industrial heritage and promote the ERIH philosophy. From each of these anchor points ‘regional routes’ will start, linking to smaller industrial heritage sites, so-called Key sites. The creation of the regional routes, which will be piloted in the partner regions, is designed to encourage tourists to visit the regions’ industrial heritage sites, thus stimulating local tourism. Alongside these actions, the project will develop Trans-national Theme Routes showing the historical and industrial links between the different European countries. Unlike the regional routes, the virtual thematic routes will be targeted at encouraging the exchange of information between experts and special interest groups.
ERIH intends that the network will become a pan-European one, integrating partners from across the world. To this end, it will organise seminars and workshops to inform the wider public about the network’s benefits.