From October 29 till November 3th I took a short organized trip to Poland. The organizer called this trip “Poland under the Nazis”. The trip included a stay in Auschwitz (Oświęcim) with visits to Krakow with Schindlers factory, Auschwitz 1 and 2 and Wroclaw before Breslau. We have to say that the Polish people are still traumatized about what happened to them during WW2 and afterwards. As our guide told us the name Schindler isn’t a good name in Poland although he did what he did. Krakow itself is a beautiful city which was amazingly not destroyed during the war. Well known here are some places related to what the public has seen in the movie about Schindler. What’s left of the walls of the ghetto are just a few stones. Before the best known Synagogue of the city is a monument for the victims.
Inside the synagogue:
A little bit further in the former ghetto on a small place from where the tombstones where taken to use them as road in the Plaszow concentration camp, the camp with commander Höss, we’ll find a small restaurant where Steven Spielberg and crew had diner during the recordings. A little bit further in the heart of the ghetto you can find a monumental in the form of chairs. On the corner of this place is the well known and still existing Pharmacy that survived war.
One of the Jewish restaurants where the S. Spielberg and crew had diner during the making of “Schindler’s List”.
More on the left of this square you can find a little park with exists of only grass and trees. This was once the cemetery where all the tombstones were taken and used as road in the Plaszow camp. On the other side of the road there is the old Jewish cemetery, from which the Germans didn’t know the existence and was spared.
In the heart of the former Getto. The square has 33 steel (1.4 m high) and 37 smaller chairs (1.2 m high) standing on the edges of the square and at tram stops. They suggest that anyone can be a victim. From here we went to Schindlers factory.
Everybody who saw the movie knows that near Krakow there was a concentration camp and a factory! The factory is now museum, the camp became a memorial park. Our guide told us that under the hills in the park, dozens of people are buried.
This camp was led by Amon Göth who didn’t care about the prisoners and shot several from his balcony. The factory was led by Oscar Schindler who tried and did save several hundreds of Jews. The villa still exists but is private property now. It looks amazingly as it was in these days.
Some pictures from inside Schindler’s Factory, located in the formerly administration building.
This thermometer shows the amount of money, given by the citizens of Krakow, to spend for the army’s defence of Poland.
A view inside a Polish bunker.
Original Polish tank from 1939.
An impression from September 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland.
A stairway to a metro/train platform .
Some belongings of the bookkeeper Itzhak Stern and some documents and pictures.
A famous survivor who was a prisoner in his childhood. Now he is a French film maker.
The original desk from Schindler. Be sure not to touch anything.
The names of the list. A monument in front of Schindler’s desk.
Amon Göth on his balcony.
The original, renovated, gate from Plazow
Original stones, with a picture of the tombstones as background.
An impression, how it looked in Plazow.
Some original pots and pans created in the factory.
The real Oscar Schindler.
The city is big and there’s a lot to see. To discover and see it all you’ll need at least two to three days I think. The museum takes minimum 2-3 hours. For opening hours and pricing visit: http://www.mhk.pl/branches/oskar-schindlers-factory .