Krakow war history museum opens
The thoroughly-refurbished administrative building of Oskar Schindler's former enamelware factory (right) has been turned into a WW II museum in Krakow, southern Poland.
A branch of the Krakow City Historical Museum, it was opened last night in the presence of the German and Israeli Ambassadors to Poland Michael H. Gerdts and Zri Rav-Ner, the US Consul in Kraków Allen S. Greenberg and the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski.
Among those present were also the Director of the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem Avner Shalev and a group of people who were saved by Oskar Schindler (including Stella Mueller-Madej, Izydor Landersdorfer and Eugenia Manor).
Mr Shalev recalled in his address that for over 600 years Catholics and Jews lived together and created a common history of Krakow.
"This was brought to an end by the Nazi occupation. [...] This museum tells an integrated story about the Jewish community and Polish citizens and about the dilemmas that the people faced during the war," he said.
The exhibition presents all aspects of the history of Kraków under the Nazi occupation. Its various sections are devoted to the outbreak of World War II, Krakow as the seat of the General Government established by the Nazis, Nazi terror, daily life of city residents, the Jewish Ghetto, anti-Nazi resistance and the life of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who employed and saved some 1, 200 Jewish workers during World War II.
Visitors to the museum are taken on a tour of reconstructed pre-war Krakow. One of Poland's most modern museums of its kind, it has 30 inter-active multi-media stands, 15 video projectors, over 100 loudspeakers and 40 cameras.
Oskar Schindler's story was described by the Australian writer Thomas Keneally in a book Schindler's Ark, which in 1993 was made into the Oscar-winning film by Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List).
Source: Polish Radio