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Kraków Chairs Memorial

26 February 2014 22 Comments

Kraków chairs square or Kraków Ghetto

We had just reached our hotel in Krakow, the second largest city of Poland. Sun had just set and it was cold and I was shivering and it was not just because of the sub-zero temperature. On way to our hotel our bus passed through an area called village Kazimierz. From the distance I could see several chairs, and I was reminded of the broken chair memorial in Geneva, just outside UNO. I made a mental note that this may be to depict something similar.

When the story unfolded, it was absolutely terrifying and I had goose pimples right till next morning.
krakow chairs @lemonicks.com

Gloomy scene of a sad story

Nobody likes wars. What happened in Krakow, in the vicinity of Krakow Ghetto is unimaginable.

Just before the onset of invasion of Krakow by Hitler’s army, 25% population of Krakow were Jews. They were soon persecuted and were forced to wear white arm bands mark themselves, many were sent to concentration camps elsewhere in Poland and many were forced to work in German Companies as forced labour.
All the Jews, numbering about 15000, were held in the ghetto created for the very purpose, in this area, surrounded by high walls and barbed wires. Each tenement housing had at least 4 families. There were approximately 320 buildings each containing 10 rooms and each room holding 5-10 people.

Over the next few years things became bad to worse with many getting killed or were dying of hunger. On a certain day over 600 were gunned down on the streets. Reason … they did not carry out SS orders. Constantly the population reduced by either mindless killing or transfer to other camps, eventually none remained in these ghettos.

krakow chairs @lemonicks.com

I am not going into the details of this horrifying act.

Now what remains in place of the ghettos is a vast square, Plac Bohaterow Getta, which has since been converted into a memorial to those who lived here. Big metal chairs were erected on raised platforms, symbolic of the various household stuff left behind by the families since, as per a story, when the Jews were leaving, they were allowed to carry only 20 KGs with them. Some say each chair depicts 1000 persons who lived here. One can see names of people who died here, engraved on the platform.

krakow chairs @lemonicks.com
The famous movie Schindler’s list was made in Krakow and in fact Oskar Schindler’s enamelware factory used to exist here where Jews worked during WW II and he showed enormous courage in saving 1200 Jews from holocaust.

Such is this cold & shivering story!

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22 Comments »

  • Shreya said:

    Such a terrible story. I think all over the world ppl are suffering at the hands of some mad ppl.

    Is it why aeroplanes allow only 20 Kgs luggage?

  • Arvi said:

    Sad.

    The picture reflects the story.

  • Nisha said:

    Shreya,
    Yes, it is.

    Ha Ha :D
    I don’t know but yes, you made a point there!
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Kraków Chairs Memorial

  • Nisha said:

    Arvi,
    Thank you.

    It made me so sad that I didn’t know how I would write it.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Kraków Chairs Memorial

  • Sunil Deepak said:

    Very beautiful images and nicely told.
    Sunil Deepak´s last [post] ..My favourite squares – People’s Square in Rome

  • B M A said:

    No matter how much you know about holocaust it still scares you. Just reading gave me goose pimples.
    Nicely put with pictures to make it worthwhile

  • ladyfi said:

    So sad and haunting.
    ladyfi´s last [post] ..Colourful snow

  • PN Subramanian said:

    Really a sad part of History. The atrocities committed by the Naziz is unparallel. There are other places too (in Polska) where enmass executions were carried out. Nice Post.

  • Karan Joshi said:

    This is a very nice initiative that you have taken. Your short articles are very informative.

  • Anu said:

    Just brings jitters to me! Such a cold treatment to Jews during WW2 is one of the worst time in the world history!

  • Bindhu Unny said:

    Terrible!

  • Prasad Np said:

    What a painful story, yes I remember watching Shindler’s List..these pictures are very haunting..
    Prasad Np´s last [post] ..Eating Out: What is the last thing on a foodies mind ?

  • Nikhil said:

    The pic looked quite Unique and so is the trajic back story behind it.
    And the Picture does reflect the horror part behind it.
    Thanks for sharing the info.
    Sad Indeed!
    Nikhil´s last [post] ..A post for Post-Oscars!

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Sunil,
    Thank you.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    B M A,
    Thanks.

    I had to write about it, it was haunting me badly.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Ladyfi,
    Yeah, so sad. We have histories like this veerywhere. :(
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    PNS,
    Thank you. Sometimes I feel I should visit all such places but then it’d be too much for me.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Karan,
    Thank you very much.

    It’s always good to have feedback from your readers. Keep them coming. :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Anu,
    Oh yes. Cambodia is another country where I felt it.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Bindhu,
    It is!
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Prasad,
    Oh yes. Somehow I’ve not seen the movie but now I want to watch it.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Celebrating Women’s Day

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Nikhil,
    Thank you.

    The picture is very apt for the story with very gloomy effect.

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