Our hotel is located in Kazimierz, about 1 mile from the downtown square of Krakow, and is considered the old Jewish quarter of the city. To those of us in Indy, consider it the broad ripple of Indy. It is now home to several art galleries, cool/artsy bars, and mostly college students.
However, back in the day, as I said it was the Jewish Quarter, and home of where the Nazi occupation took place. We didn’t realize at first, but we are staying literally about 1 mile in the other direction from the ‘Ghetto’, as in the Ghetto where thousands of the Jewish population were quarantined to, then later liquidated. Included in this ghetto was Oskar Schindler’s factory – yes, as in from the Steven Spielberg movie ‘Schindler’s List’.
We were surprised to find that it was only recently that the factory was turned into a museum (June 2010) but found the display and way that it was laid out to be by far the best historic representation of the Nazi Occupation of Krakow by far. They had separate artists design every room of the museum depicting the timeline of 1939 to 1945.
It was a moving experience and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone that comes through the area. We even had the chance to see Oskar’s office, and see where the camp was that he held, trying to give the Jewish population a chance to live. The man was truly a hero and I can only hope to have the strength to make the hard choices, should I ever be put in a situation like that.
Then to walk out of the factory and know you were literally walking the streets where all of this happened. In the same footsteps – an indescribable feeling.