Russiaand Poland. The XXth century. The Pages of History


Russiaand Poland, whose peoples are close in origin and mentality and united by mutual cultural influence, are linked by a thousand-year history.

The exhibition project "Russia and Poland. XXth century. The Pages of History" is deliberately opened on the Smolensk land: Smolensk region has been the intersection of these two states' interests for centuries.

The project "Russia and Poland. XXth century. The Pages of History" is an attempt to relate complex and controversial issues of the recent history of the Russian-Polish relations with maximum certainty, objectivity and validity from the 1900s to present days and to comprehend the tragic episodes of the recent past.

The exposition relates the situation of the Polish lands in the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, the emergence of an independent Polish state after the Great Russian Revolution and the end of the First World War, the causes and the results of the Polish-Soviet war of 1919–1921 which caused the tense relations between the USSR and Poland in the interwar years.

Much attention is paid to the Soviet – Polish relations during the Second World War, the armed forces brotherhood of the Red Army and the Polish Army and the role of the Soviet troops in the liberation of Poland from the Nazis. The exposition is completed with the overview of the history of post-war relations between the USSR and the Polish People's Republic, the Russian Federation and the Polish Republic at the present stage.

The peculiarity of the project is the combination of the original museum items and the modern multimedia programs specially designed for this project on the basis of the archival photo and video materials.

The project has been prepared by the State Central Museum of Russian Modern History and the Russian Military Historical Society.



Perpetuation of the memory of those buried in the territory of the Memorial Complex "Katyn"

The exposition in the Main entrance pavilion tells about the tragic fate of people buried in the territory of the Katyn Memorial Complex, and is dedicated to perpetuating their memory.

The exposition describes the tragic history of the Goat Hills and the history of the Memorial Complex. Modern multimedia technologies allow you to see the memorial and architectural objects from a bird's eye view.

The main part of the exposition is devoted to a story about the fate of the residents of the Smolensk region, who were victims of political repressions in the 1930s. A special place is occupied by personal items belonging to the repressed, and transferred to the museum by their relatives. Here you can see the original documents and photos from the archival collection of the Memorial Complex "Katyn".

The exposition features items discovered during the exhumation works of the 1990s, which belonged to Polish prisoners of war.


The emotional center of the exposition is the Memory Gallery, on the walls of which names of over 8,000 Soviet citizens and over 4 thousand Polish citizens buried in the territory of the Katyn Memorial Complex come to light from the darkness.

Used modern multimedia technology allows us to present the scale of the tragic events that took place in the tract of the Goat Hills in the 1930s–1940s.