In the cell I, the largest cell of the former Gestapo detention centre (2.8 x 4.3 m), we can read the message left behind by Czesław Mika.
The plan of the occupant was simple: Kraków was to become a German city. As the capital of the General Government, it could not “offend“ the Germans with such clear symbols of Polish culture: monuments commemorating great historical events and the heroes related with them.
Kraków remained under German occupation for 1961 days — 5 years, from 6 September 1939 to 18 January 1945. Traces of the German past of the city can still be found in its space: air-raid shelters under today’s Inwalidów Square...
The Pomorska Street Branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków is located in the Silesian House [Dom Śląski] on the corner of Królewska Street and Pomorska Street. During WW II, the building of the so-called Silesian House, which houses the branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków today, was occupied by the Germans.
Schindler’s office in the administrative building of Deutsche Emailwarenfabrik (DEF) was located on the second floor, right above the factory gate. One could enter the office through the secretariat, where a decorated architectural detail has been preserved on the ceiling—the place for a plafond lamp.
Karol Wojtyła wrote in his autobiographical sketches: “The war was an obstacle to completing my studies [Polish Philology at the Jagiellonian University] and the living conditions during the occupation forced me to work as a manual worker at the Solvay Company in Borek Fałęcki, near Kraków, between 1940 and 1944.
Three inconspicuously-looking fragments of the bronze sculpture: the head of an old man and the fragment of a hand and an arm are the elements of one of the most important 19th century monuments in Kraków — the monument commemorating the national bard, Adam Mickiewicz. The monument, erected in 1898 by the sculptor Teodor Rygier, was demolished by the German occupant in 1940 as a symbol of Polish statehood.
The head of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (45 x 35 cm) — the head of a middle-aged man with a short neck, slightly bent down, long hair combed backwards. Around the neck a wide strap with threaded screws.
“Show trials” were political processes used in totalitarian states, aimed at discrediting the opposition by conducting a public trial based on trumped-up charges. They were also meant to intimidate society. During the pre-trial investigation, the defendants...
17 August 1940: “After Grunwald and Kościuszko, it was Mickiewicz’s turn. Vandals furiously attacked the monument of the bard standing in the Main Market Square. In broad daylight at noon tools and lifts were brought in and all the figures were thrown off the pedestal — as if with some hidden passion or provocation“.
The original of the medal granted to Tadeusz Pankiewicz (21.11.1908—5.11.1993) by the Israeli Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem on 15 September 1983 is stored in the Częstochowa sanctuary, placed there as an offering by his widowed wife after the death of Pankiewicz.
Dr Roman Glassner is sitting in a dark leather armchair in the middle; on the left is Helena Krywaniuk sitting back on an armchair, leaning against Aurelia Danek who is standing behind her. Dr Leon Glück is sitting back on the seat on the right. Tadeusz Pankiewicz stands behind the armchair in the background.