Opened recently in 2010, this Schindlers Museum chronicles the life in Krakow before and around the Second World War. One of the important events that it documents is the arrival of Nazi Germans in the city in 1939. And the tragedies that followed over the next five years at its permanent exhibition titled ‘Kraków During Nazi Occupation 1939-1945. Schindler’s factory was brought to focus by the famous Speilberg film Schindler’s List that was shot primarily in Krakow.
Schindlers Museum Visit – Things to do in Krakow
The site is the original Oskar Schindler’s Factory that made Enameled Vessels ‘Emalia’. You can see some of those vessels inside the museum, stacked up in a transparent cubicle. This factory was originally set up by the Jews in 1937 but was taken over by Oskar Schindler who arrived with the Nazis from Germany. It initially made vessels and cookware for the German Army. But later expanded to include a munitions division to produce cartridge cases and fuses for bombs. For the cost advantage, people from Jewish ghettos were hired here. And their lives are also one of the focus areas of this museum now. Pictures of Oskar Schindler make the man come alive.
Second World War
Krakow was the seat of government during the Second World War and this museum tends to showcase the city from that perspective as well. There is a lot of old material from the time that has been put up as pictures. And as displays that give you a feel of the time. Reading personal communications between people can be very emotional. Old currency notes, envelopes, black and white photographs of the town against the backdrop of its still-the-same skyline. Handmade charts, an enclosure with information, old equipment’s on display tell stories of their times.
Apart from the exhibits that are unique to the city and the museum, I loved the museum for its design. It re-creates the old city with the help of multi-media and gives you an almost theater-like feel. You walk through the exhibits, you feel the people around, you read the newspapers of the time & the writings of the people. You hear the sounds and you are definitely transported to the world of Krakow people during the times of Oskar Schindler. A bookshop, a café, a mini theater make it a complete space for the visitors. To do justice to this museum you need at least 2-3 hours. If you are a war history enthusiast you can spend much more time here.
Couple the visit to the museum with a visit to Jewish Quarters in the town, not too far from the factory, to complete the experience of the world war era.
Recommend you to read the following Things to do in Krakow & Poland Tourist Attractions.