The core exhibition is devoted to mass executions in Palmiry and in the Kampinos Forest in the years 1939-1943 and other events which took place in the area during World War II.
The exhibition is housed in a stark modernist building designed by architect Szczepan Wroński surrounded by woods. Adding to the unique atmosphere of the space, the execution sites are marked with four pine trees growing in separate glass tubes. The Palmiry cemetery is visible through the Museum’s glass walls.
The central sections of the exhibition entitled Executions 1939-1943. Palmiry – Kampinos Forest and Exhumations – Cemetery in Palmiry 1945-1948 feature lists of names of the victims and of those buried at the cemetery as well as lists of the executions alongside dates and the number of victims.
These sections also include biographies of some of the victims, photographs, keepsakes related to their private, social and professional lives donated by their relatives, prisoners’ death certificates as well as copies of underground press (Biuletyn Informacyjny [Information Bulletin] 1940, 1941) featuring news about the exhumations. Each display case is lit by its own light – from afar they bring to mind grave lanterns. The display cases are full of objects retrieved during the exhumations, which allowed for the identification of the victims, correspondence of families seeking relatives, letters and reports from the Polish Red Cross.