Europe's history was deeply affected by two totalitarian dictatorships – the German National Socialism 1933-1945 and the communist regime in Russia which emerged in 1917 and expanded to Eastern Europe in 1944. With this exhibition we do not intend to compare these systems by examining their influence. Nor are we looking at victims or offenders, but rather our work focuses on those who offered resistance. In both systems people fought for human dignity fully aware that they could be killed as a result. By choosing to act against repressive systems, they confronted and withstood the moral dilemma.
The exhibition does not intend to present a complete overview of the history of opposition and resistance in times of the German National Socialism and Soviet Communism. Special examples show the attitudes of single persons, the formation of alternative political groups, and methods of oppositional actions in different countries and centuries.
People acting in the resistance had different backgrounds and motivations for their actions. They were of different religions and had different political attitudes and life experiences. But all of them decided to live in truth and reject lies. We are aware of the fact that our choice of persons and groups acting in the resistance presented in this exhibition seems a very subjective choice.
However, since the historical meaning of the Kreisau Circle is indivisible from the actual location of Kreisau/ Krzyżowa today, we must include this resistance group in the NS part of our exhibition. This does not imply any devaluation of other individuals and groups who worked in the German resistance.
Exhibition by the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding, designed and implemented by the Kreisau-Initiative-Berlin and the Center KARTA, Warsaw.