The World of Schindler’s List

I visited Krakow a few days ago and happened to make my way to the exhibition in the old Oscar Schindler Enamel Factory. I have never been too fond of multimedia historical exhibitions, but this one is really impressive. Although the title of the exhibition is “Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939 – 1945”, I expected it to be dedicated entirely to the history of Schindler’s Factory. I was totally wrong. Actually, only a film of interviews with Jewish and Polish factory workers lasting approximately 20 minutes shown at the beginning of the tour and one or two rooms at the end relate to Oscar Schindler.
The main part of the exhibition shows how life in Krakow was like throughout the war. This included looking at Polish-Jewish relations during these days. What I found really impressive was how the atmosphere, sound and smell of key places were recreated in the exhibition. Visitors walk through the city’s cobble stone streets, enter the railway station from which people were transported to either forced labour or concentration camps, pass the prison, pop into the barber shop and photographic studio, enter the typical Jewish flat of that era and walk beside the gravestone-shaped walls of the Krakow Ghetto. Although the exhibition is quite big, in fact my friend and I were there for four hours, it is extremely interesting and holds one’s attention all the time.

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