The red brick former synagogue in the small town of Susz, in northern Poland, is being developed as the home of a new regional museum. Renovation work began early this year, and the museum is expected to open in 2021.
The project is being undertaken by the local Galea Historical and Research Association, which was founded in 2017. In October 2019 Galea signed an agreement with the building’s owner, the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ), allowing them to convert the synagogue into the new museum.
On October 1, 2019, the association signed an agreement with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, pursuant to which the building of the former Jewish synagogue was acquired for an indefinite period. This building is located in Susz at ul. Wąska 5. The planned adaptation of the building envisages that it will contain three exhibition rooms with a total area of more than 120 square meters. In addition, there will be additional rooms necessary for the operation of the museum, such as a storage space or an exhibit conservation workshop.
The synagogue in Susz (known as Rosenberg in German) was built in 1868 in the neo-Gothic style, when the town was part of Prussia (it was part of Germany after 1871 and became part of Poland at the end of WW2). The building was used as a culture center in the decades after WW2, but had stood empty and in deteriorating condition since the 1990s.
Galea divided the creation of the museum into two stages, the association’s head, Sebastian Zieliński, told JHE. The first is to carry out the renovation of the building and its interior spaces. The second, preparation of the exhibition, will begin once the renovation work is completed.
The Association is carrying out fundraising for both efforts — a recent fund-raising initiative was an auction of historic photos, coins, and other donated materials.
“Due to the fact that the building remained unused for a long period of time, adapting it to the needs of a museum requires considerable financial effort and work,” the museum web site says. “Virtually all rooms require adaptation and renovation works.”
The Museum is documenting the restoration work on its web site and Facebook page.