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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oskar Schindler's 'Factory'

20 years after seeing Steven Spielberg's movie, Schindler's List, we both wanted to visit his 'Factory' on August 22nd, our last morning in Krakow and Poland too for that matter before getting the bus to Brno in the Czech Republic. It is not a factory but rather the former office building of Schindler's
Deutsche Emailwarenfabrik (DEF) or Enamel Factory which now houses, in 45 rooms, the exhibition  entitled "Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945." It tells the story of Krakow itself and of the fate of its Jewish and Polish residents during the Second World War.

Signs on the exterior of the building.

Photos above of Nazis buying souvenirs and being amused when Orthodox Jews' dreadlocks and sideburns were cut off; below their acting as tourists!
A 'Death Poster' as the Jews referred to them; they listed all the Jews murdered the previous day. The names were also constantly read over loudspeakers in an attempt to keep Jews in line.
Tram sign saying 'No Jews on Tram.'

Disquieting exhibit because they kept going
around and around, almost as if they were keeping
 pace with the Germans marching.

Just in case you didn't notice the floor in the
preceding photo.

Correspondence from Krakow residents in concentration camps.

This sign was, for me, among the most distrubing of all the signs in Jewish museums we've seen so far this trip. I hope I will remember it the next time I'm inclined to say 'I'm starving.'

The Nazis forced Jewish stonemasons
to build the top of the Ghetto Wall in the
same shape as the top of Jewish tombstones.
The Room of Choices: A structural installation symbolizing the various ethical dilemmas and attitudes one could encounter during a war. How profoundly scary and thought provoking.

A minute fraction of the plunder of
Jewish belonings by the Nazis.

Studio portaits of more than a thousand Jewsish
DEF workers saved by Schindler.