This article discusses the issue of suffering and martyrdom as paradigms structuring the Polish identity narrative and confronts it with the discourses of museums in contemporary Poland. Museums, understood as “memory devices,” are analyzed in terms of the experience they create for the visitors through repeating, reinventing and modifying general patterns of the Polish memory and identity. Exhibitions of The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II in Markowa and The Silesian Museum in Katowice are investigated in detail, revealing different ways in which the suffering is depicted and highlighting the theme’s functions in the message conveyed.

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