For many, Kazimierz probably came alive through the lens of Steven Spielberg and Schindler’s List.
For me, the Jewish Quarter came alive through the stories of the walking tour guide last September.
I felt a tinge of sadness in the district. Imagine the sadness that lingered back then when it was destroyed by the war.
Our walking tour took us from the Jewish Quarter to the Krakow Ghetto. Our first stop was the Old Synagogue.
Another Jewish house of prayer, Issac Synagogue, opposite the Jewish cemetery. Most of the tombstones were destroyed during the war. Was interesting to learn that the tombstones had the occupations of the deceased engraved e.g. book for a teacher…
Plac Nowy, one of the main squares in Kazimierz. Such a stark contrast to the square in the Krakow Old Town. Heard that there are many interesting pubs around this square. It looked quite scary in the day already so I guess the vibes would be quite exciting at night.
One of the filming locations in Schindler’s List. Now a restaurant.
Kazimierz Town Hall.
St. Catherine Church. Interesting to find churches in this district. The guide didn’t said much – not the focus of this walking tour, I reckoned.
Krakow Ghetto where the liquidation took place… a memorial to Jews on their deportation site… each steel chair represents 1,000 victims. According to the guide, the chairs faced a dispensary where a doctor would try to help the Jews – he kind of represent hope.
This was the second last stop of the walking tour which ended at Schindler’s Factory, now a museum. What I don’t like about walking tour is that we can’t really stop at stops longer or we would not be able to catch up with the group. So we had to explore the area as we traced our way back to the old town.
The Krakow Ghetto from the other side – we had to cross a bridge to get to the ghetto. The Jews were completely cut off from the rest during the war.
Glimpses of Kazimierz. Charming in its own ways. Simple architecture – probably a reflection of its Communist days…
I posted this picture in Instagram (@ilovelongvacation) and this was what accompanied my post – ”Happy New Year! Was surprised to see this graffiti in the Jewish Quarter in #Krakow #Poland where there were sad memories of the war. My take-away – life is really about moving forward and making better memories, forgiving and not forgetting when we look back at times. So no matter how last year had been for you, be happy (again)! #travel #throwback #Europe’
It was kind of hard to press about this. I don’t know why. It’s like I learnt so much about Kazimierz. But I guess I didn’t. I mean, how could I really know and understand how it was like then…