Friday, February 15, 2013

Krakow Part I: Visit Plaszow, the Liban Quarry and the house of Amon Goeth

HOW TO GET PLASZOW FROM KRAKOW?

It's located 1.5 km away from the Ghetto Square, but it's a little far from the city center and taking into account that once we get there you'll have to keep walking, the best option is public transport. Several trams reach the camo: the 3, 6, 9, 13, 23 and 24 (depending on where you take it). You'll have to get off at the cemetery Podgórski (cmentarz Podgórski). 
If you take the tram in the square of the ghetto, for example, this is the path that it follows (click here ). You have to to get off at point B. 


PLAN YOUR VISIT

Once there, the best route to choose is this (click here to see the map):
A. Tram stop
B. Amon Goeth House . Walk few meters through Wielicka street from the tram stop (leaving the graveyard behind) until you find Jerozolimska street on the right. Go through this and climbed straight on to the beginning of Wiktora Heltmana where you can find the house on the right side. You can see it in the street view.
C. Plaszow Memorial. Following along the way we found several entries of the camp. The one that I indicate will take you to the memorial.

D. Liban Quarry. Continuing along the marked path to a cliff where you will find yourself in front of the old factory. Skirting the cliff you can reach the entry.
If you have time, just few steps from the factory, you have the mount of Prince Krak or Krakus dating from the seventh century. It is said that there is buried the founder of Krakow.
 Panoramic view with the factory and the mound.

THE CONCENTRATION CAMP OF PLASZOW


Built in 1942 as a camp of work, in 1943 was expanded to become concentration camp where Jews were deported from the Krakow ghetto. It's the camp that appears in the film Schindler's List.

 The field in 1943.


At the present there are just few remains of what it was, as it was totally destroyed. There are still a few posts up.


 

There are multiple entries for which we can access.


 First entry found.
 
Wild nature.

Field plane at the main entrance.


At one end of the camp you can find the main memorial, with several entries. The monument is huge. We can still meet there people putting candles and flowers.


Plaszow memorial



If you follow the path set you'll find some more memorials.

cross Plaszow


THE QUARRY LIBAN

This factory of limestone, " Liban and Ehrenpreis ", has been built in 1873 by two important Jewish families of Podgorze. By the end of the century, a complex of buildings were erected next to the factory and even a railway line connected it with the city. The times were prosperous until the rise of Nazism. 800 young Poles were held as prisoners at the factory and forced to work in it from 1942-1944 .




Spielberg used this place as a stage to recreate Plaszow in Schindler's List. He didn't want to shoot it in the camp itself out of respect. Although the set was dismantled some rests still stands nearby. It's hard to distinguish which ones belonged to the film and wich ones to the real camp.

Although flooded now you can see the remains of decorated posts, belonging probably to the film.

Today the place is pretty grim. There are abandoned houses nearby. Even so, it has a special charm and beautiful views.

Abandoned place.

Part of the area has been submerged.


THE HOUSE OF AMON GOETH

Amon Goeth (Amon Goth in German) was the camp commandant. We all know him beacuse  Ralph Fiennes gave him life in Schindler's List . In this movie, his house became famous too. From the main balcony Goeth used to shoot the prisoners.

Amon Goeth in the balcony.

The house is attached to the camp and is still standing.  It is located on the street Wiktora Heltmana .

The house today.

3 comments:

  1. The street looks suburban and normal if a bit neglected. The Göeth villa has been redecorated and looks homey. Does anyony live there now? Who added the newer decor? Has anyone lived there or in neighboring houses since the camp was liberated?

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  2. The house is privately owned and the owners spend a couple of days per week there. I believe it is still for sale. The rest of the street is a normal residential road.

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  3. Yes visited there in December 2015 and was under renovation with a new roof. Not sure how much of the old decor was removed, but some of that was a part of history. Would be interested to know how much it will sell for and to whom. Any ideas where we could find this out?

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