Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum

Krakow Ghetto

Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum in Kraków, located on the right bank of the Vistula, almost opposite the Kazimierz Jewish quarter, is a former enamel factory by an ethnic German and Nazi party member Oskar Schindler. He gave a job to approximately 1,100 Jews and saved them from extermination during Second World War.


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Oskar Schindler ran a factory, Deutsche Emaillewaren-Fabrik (known as Emalia), between 1939 and 1945 at 4 Lipowa Street. The factory produced products for civil and military purposes. Initially, Poles worked on it, but later, mostly Jews from the Kraków ghetto.


Steven Spielberg's 1993 movie Schindler's List follows Oskar Schindler and the factory's military history. The slogan was a quote from the Talmud: "whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

Officially opened to the public in 2010 after years of preparation, the factory museum attracts tourists from around the globe.

Kraków as the capital of the General Governorate for the Occupied Polish Region

Oskar Schindler's Factory is undoubtedly one of Poland's most organized historical importance institutions, open to tourists. By visiting the museum and its permanent exhibition entitled "Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945", you will gain a deeper insight into the history of Jews and Poles during the Second World War. The exhibition perfectly illustrates Krakow's military history, inhabitants' daily life, and the survivors' fate.


"Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945"


The Interwar Period: 1918 to 1939

Schindler's Factory
Pre-war Krakow in photos

In the exhibition's first part, the authors illustrate Kraków before WWII. The residents' photographs show its multiculturalism and multi-confessional character. At that time, people were unaware of what was about to happen.


Military Mobilization

Shindler's Factory
Pre-war Kraków train station waiting room

Schindler's Factory
Pre-war bike in the waiting room of train station

At the end of summer 1939, the authorities announced first a secret and then an open mobilization in war cases. Posters displayed on the streets called for military service. The station platforms were overcrowded.


Beginning of World War II

Schindler's Factory
Despite the difficult situation, Kraków inhabitants tried to lead a usual life as before

In September 1939, upon the German invasion of Poland, the German army occupied Krakow. The third part of the exhibition focuses on the city's transformation into the capital of a separate administrative region of the Third Reich, the General Government. The Germanization is visible in the city's names of streets, businesses, and squares, as well as the Swastika flags.


Jewish Ghetto

Jewish Ghetto
Due to the overpopulation in the ghetto, about a dozen people each lived in small rooms

Krakow Ghetto
The living conditions of the Jewish people back then

In spring 1941, the Krakow ghetto was officially established in the city by the Germans. It functioned till spring 1943. Its inhabitants worked in factories inside or outside the ghetto, including Oskar Schindler's factory. Photos of streets, people, written memories - all this evokes the sadness of those days.


The Righteous Among the Nations

Schindler's Museum
Desk of Oskar Schindler with a list of Jews he saved

In the last part, the faces of Schindler's survivors in the photos look at visitors. Their stories and post-war fate prove that "Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world." One of the rooms is the authentic entrepreneur's office with a preserved map of Europe.


How to Get There


Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum is in Podgórze district. The Father Bernatka Footbridge over the Vistula, unveiled in 2010, connecting the old quarter of Kazimierz with Podgórze, contributes to tourist traffic in the district, a 20-minute walk from Kazimierz.

Address: ul. Lipowa 4, 30-702 Kraków, Poland


By Public Transportation:

Tram (lines 3, 19, 24): Plac Bohaterów Getta; (lines 9, 20, 49, 50): Zabłocie

Train (REG, sR): Kraków Zabłocie


Kraków: Oskar Schindler's Factory Entry Tickets


Online admission tickets to Oskar Schindler's Factory will make your visit quick and easy.



I hope you enjoyed my Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum guide. Have you visited the museum yet? If yes, would you like to share your thoughts? Please leave your comment in the section below.

Have a great time in Kraków!


Arūnas

March 22, 2021

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