Study Experiences can arrange a wide range of visits in Krakow, such as:
Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps
This authentic Memorial consists of the former camps and the post-camp relics, protected by the State Museum which was created in 1947. Your guided tour is conducted by an Auschwitz Memorial guide which ensures efficient movement around the entire Museum grounds and full information about the museum, the buildings and their history, and the exhibitions.
Auschwitz I was used originally to hold those deemed to be political prisoners, while Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, was the purpose-built death camp constructed to murder many thousands of European Jewish, Roma and Sinti people.
Instantly recognisable by the haunting train tracks and watchtowers, Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the largest of all the concentration camps in the area. The camp itself has been maintained in the same condition in which the Nazis left it, as a constant reminder of the atrocities that took place. Its size, with its endless lines of barbed wire and watch towers, provides students with an insight into the scale of the Nazi programme, that can only be understood by visiting the camp.
Oskar Schindler’s Factory/Museum
This museum located on the right-bank of Vistula River focuses on life in Kraków pre and post invasion and is located in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory at 4 Lipowa Street. The permanent exhibition ‘Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939– 1945’ is primarily a story about Kraków and its inhabitants, both Polish and Jewish, during World War II.
Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto
On March 21, 1941, the entire Jewish population of 68,000 men, women and children, residing in Kazimierz (Jewish District), were marched across the Silesian Uprisings Bridge and crammed into what was to become known as the Podgórze Ghetto. Liquidated on March 14, 1943, the majority of the Ghetto’s residents were murdered there, while others met death in the nearby Liban quarry and Płaszów concentration camp, or in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belzec.Traces of the Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto still exist; in the south of the square at Lwowska Street there is a fragment of the ghetto wall with a commemorative plaque. Ghetto Heroes Square, the scene of mass deportations, is dotted with large metal chairs – one for every thousand Kraków Jews. The chairs represent possessions discarded by the deportees and remind today’s passers-by of the displacement of Jews.
Kazimierz (Jewish District)
Located south of the Old Town, Kazimierz was the centre of Jewish life in Krakow for over 500 years, before it was systematically destroyed during World War II. In the communist era it fell into disrepair and gained a reputation for being one of the city’s most hazardous districts. However following the fall of the regime in the 1990’s and worldwide exposure through Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindlers List”, it has continued to develop into a fashionable, bustling district where historical sites, numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries reflecting traces of Kazimierz’s Jewish history sit alongside trendy cafés and art galleries, popular among tourists and locals alike.
Galicia Jewish Museum
Located in the heart of Kazimierz, the Galicia Jewish Museum is one of Poland’s most visited Jewish museums and cultural centres. It was established to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to celebrate the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia, presenting Jewish history from a new perspective. There are two permanent exhibitions: The Traces of Memory and An Unfinished Memory.
Options for a visit to the Museum include:-
- Guided Museum Tour - led by qualified, experienced educators, this tour lasting 45 minutes-1 hour includes an overview of the work of the Galicia Jewish Museum, the permanent exhibitions, and the current temporary exhibitions. Question and Answer sessions are also available.
- Interactive Guided Museum Tour - an alternative way to present the content of our exhibition, we ask participants to take part in tracking down traces of the Jewish past. Like researchers, they will reveal hidden photos, maps, and texts that complement the main narration of the exhibition.
- Meetings with Holocaust and concentration camp survivors or Righteous Among the Nations award recipients - meeting with survivors is, for many of our visitors, the highpoint of their entire Polish experience. Stories told by elderly people who have been through so much make an impact on young people and alter their outlook. Meetings in the Galicia Jewish Museum are organized with the intent to provide a friendly atmosphere for survivors, one that makes them comfortable to tell their stories and answer all kinds of questions from the audience afterwards. Meetings are translated by employees of the museum who are experienced in working with survivors and have a background on the subject.
- Educational workshops on Jewish culture and tradition or Holocaust related topics - all workshops are in English and are led by qualified, experienced educators from the Museum’s Education Department. Details of topics available are on request.
Plaszow Camp and Memorial
Located in the city’s right-bank, the Plaszow camp, established in 1942 under the authority of the SS and police leaders in Krakow, was initially a forced-labour camp for Jews. The original site of the camp included two Jewish cemeteries. From time to time the SS enlarged the camp. It reached its maximum size in 1944, the same year that it became a concentration camp. Most prisoners here lasted no longer than 4 weeks. The monument at the former camp was erected in 1964 and commemorates all the victims who died there, Polish Catholics and Jews.