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National Exhibitions

Aside from the main exhibition and other permanent exhibitions, visitors can also see other permanent displays known as the national exhibitions. The idea of such exhibitions originated in the first organizational plans for the Museum in 1946, and was revived in the late 1950s at the initiative of the International Auschwitz Committee, which felt that information about the Nazi occupation should be encouraged in countries whose citizens died in Auschwitz, by showing the connections between the history of the occupation in a given country and the history of Auschwitz, and showing the fate of the citizens of a given country, as well as the story of the resistance movement.

The first country to open a national exhibition was Czechoslovakia, in 1960. The Hungarian exhibition opened that same year. The Soviet Union and East Germany opened their national exhibitions in 1961. Yugoslavia, Belgium, and Denmark followed suit in the 1960s.

Bulgaria, Austria, and France opened national exhibitions in the 1970s, and The Netherlands, Italy, and Poland in the following decade.

Over time, most of these countries modernized or replaced their exhibitions. Some did so several times. Organizations or ministries in the several countries prepared the contents and design, and installed the exhibitions.

The exhibition on The Martyrdom, Struggle, and Destruction of the Jews, 1933-1945 is one of the exhibitions in 1945, and was installed by Poland.