Jewish Quarter, Krakow.
Jewish Quarter, is a historic place, which keeps secrets of the Second World War. But I’m not going to talk about the War, I just want to share with you information, which I found on the streets of Krakow. There are fond memories, and there are sad memories, for the Jewish people, the memory of the Jewish Quarter of Krakow relates to sad memories.
The Jewish Quarter is located in the territory of Kazimierz . Kazimierz was founded in the 14th century by King Casimir the Great as a separate town. Its historic center was a square Wolnica. Since the late 15th century until the beginning of World War II in the north-eastern part of Kazimierz it was located the Jewish residential area. Life here was seething and continues to rage around the main square on the Szeroka St.
In the 15th century, when started the first persecution of the Jews, King Casimir the Great invited Jews to move to Poland from all over Europe. He said: “I don’t care in what you believe, what for me is important, that you have to pay the taxes”. Jews from all over Europe gathered in Poland, because there they felt free.
At the beginning of the 19th century Kazimierz has become Krakow’s district.
Before the war, in the Jewish quarter were about 68,000 Jews, now about 600. Most of them were killed during the war.
On the territory of Kazimierz is located a lot of a Synagogues, but after the war most of the Jews ceased to believe in God. So, now Synagogues are poor and to look at them from the inside, you need to pay an entrance.
From every corner of Kazimierz, you can see the history of Polish Jews. She is involved in the planning of streets and markets, in small houses, Synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.
One of the most famous Jewish cemetery, known as Remuh Cemetery. It is one of the historical evidence of the centuries-old residence of Jews in Krakow. During the war, the cemetery was destroyed, but thanks to the efforts of the Poles, now it is partially restored. The biggest cult has gravestone by Rabbi Moses Isserles, to him pilgrimage Jews all over the world.
After the war, the Jewish Quarter was deserted and abandoned, but in recent years he regains past luster.
In 1993, Kazimierz district come in a movie, thanks to Steven Spielberg, who made a movie «Schindler’s List». After the film Spielberg’s a lot of people wanted to come to the Jewish Quarter to see the place where the movie was filmed.
Another important place of the Jewish Quarter, is the Ghetto Heroes Square. In contrast to the central square, this is always quiet and there are no crowds. Ghetto – a district of Krakow, in which the Nazis during the war, were rounded up the Jews. The ghetto was fenced by a wall, and the people here were living in inhumane conditions. Often the ghetto called all people in this square, together with the belongings and furniture. Because they were to be sure nobody hide the children at home. Most of the inhabitants of the ghetto here seen their relatives for the last time. From here they were taken to Auschwitz. In memory of this, later on this square they put 70 iron chairs.
Today, in cafes, clubs and galleries of Kazimierz going to those for whom The Market Square and its surroundings have become too “tourist.” Each find for itself extraordinary character of Jewish Quarter. Where near to the prestigious hotels and restaurants are located workshops: leather goods craftsmen, shoemakers or engravers. For me, it was amazing to see how in one city live together “sad history” and “modern life”.
By the way, I’m on my own experience know, that just being in those places that hold the secrets of the events, covered in darkness, you can truly feel the horror of what happened. I was on tour in the second largest conc. camp after Auschwitz, Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, you know, I do not even have any desire to do it any photos. Such places, we want to forget, but such places, we must visit to remember, what did our ancestors, for our future.
The Jewish Quarter is one of such places…