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Cracow. March of Remembrance on the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto in Podgórze

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The March of Remembrance on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the brutal liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Krakow set off from Plac Bohaterów Getta in Krakow at noon. In March 1943, after two years of functioning of the ghetto, the Germans murdered two thousand Jews on the spot. In order to cultivate the memory of this event, a March of Remembrance is organized in Krakow’s Podgórze.

On Sunday at noon, the March of Remembrance set off from Plac Bohaterów Getta on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the brutal liquidation of the former ghetto that functioned in this place. According to estimates, at its peak, there were about 20,000 people there.

On March 13 and 14, 1943, the ghetto, in which about nine thousand people lived at that time, was liquidated. Germany they murdered about two thousand Jews on the spot. It happened mainly on Plac Zgody – whose name was later changed to Plac Bohaterów Getta.

March of Remembrance in KrakowPAP/Łukasz Gągulski

March of Remembrance in Krakow

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The March of Remembrance is being organized in Krakow’s Podgórze to commemorate the tragic event. Its route begins at the Bohaterów Getta Square, where around noon the official part began – including the reading of the accounts of the ghetto survivors. Then it was planned to move to Lwowska Street, where the surviving fragment of the ghetto wall is located. Then the marchers are to go to the monument to the murdered Jews on the site of the former KL Plaszow camp.

March of Remembrance in KrakowPAP/Łukasz Gągulski

“How could humanity descend to this level?”

As emphasized by the ambassador at the beginning of the ceremony Israel in Poland by Yacov Livne, the entire Jewish nation was referred to by the Germans as “subhuman”. – But Jews were not, according to Nazi theory, the only subhumans. They were also Poles (…). How could humanity descend to this level? I’ll tell you how. Not only because of the murderers who planned and carried it out, but also because of the indifference of most other people. – This is a lesson we should learn. No more indifference to crime. No more indifference to anti-Semitism and xenophobia. We should learn this lesson from the Holocaust today. One of these lessons is also the need to ensure the safe Jewish state of Israel, the ambassador assessed at the beginning of the March of Remembrance.

Livne noted that “80 years ago, here in Krakow, something happened that not long before no one could have predicted, that no one could understand.” – No one imagined that a murderous theory would arise, according to which representatives of the entire nation should be exterminated only because they were born – said the ambassador at the Heroes of the Getta Square.

For many it was the “road to death”. Ghetto liquidation celebrations

Marches of Remembrance on the anniversary of liquidation have been organized since the 1980s by the Jewish Culture Festival Association. For several years, its co-organizers have been the Mayor of the City of Krakow and the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow. It became the official form of celebrations of the anniversary of the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. This year, the partners of the march are also the Association of Krakowians in Israel and the KL Plaszow Museum.

“We invite you to the March of Remembrance on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto in Krakow. By covering the route that for many Krakow Jews was the road to death, we pay tribute to them and show the memory of those who for centuries co-created our city” – the organizers encouraged before the event. In 2022, 2021 and 2020, the event was canceled due to the pandemic.

March of Remembrance in KrakowTVN24

In addition to the March of Remembrance on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto, other events are planned. The program of the celebrations included exhibitions at the Bohaterów Getta Square, prepared by the Apteka pod Orłem museum and by IPN. The occasional exhibition was also organized by the Podgórze Museum. In the Schindler’s Factory, the Galicia Museum and the Jewish Community Center (JCC Kraków) you will be able to take part in occasional meetings. The Tempel Synagogue invites you to the concert “Music of Polish Jews”.

Outdoor exhibition at Bohaterów Getta Square in KrakowPAP/Łukasz Gągulski

One of the largest ghettos

The Germans established a ghetto in Krakow’s Podgórze on March 3, 1941. They locked up nearly 17,000 Jews from Krakow. At the end of the same year, several thousand more Jews from nearby towns and cities were locked in the ghetto. The ghetto was one of the five largest in the General Government.

In 1942, the occupiers organized several deportation actions in the ghetto, during which most people – approx. – deported mainly to the extermination camp in Bełżec, approx. 1,000. murdered in the ghetto. The occupiers liquidated the ghetto on March 13 and 14, 1943. The operation was led by the German criminal Wilhelm Haase. In the ghetto, mainly on the Umschlagplatz of the ghetto – today Plac Bohaterów Getta – they murdered about 2,000 people. Jews, approx. 8 thousand. were herded to the camp in Płaszów, about 3,000. sent to KL Auschwitz.

They saved themselves from the Krakow ghetto, among others Roman Polanski, Ryszard Horowitz with his sister, Roma Ligocka, Stella Mueller and Miriam Akavia. Currently, 70 chairs-sculptures made of metal, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, stand on the Bohaterów Getta Square. Metal chairs-monuments refer to the abandoned furniture lying on the square during the liquidation of the ghetto.

Main photo source: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski



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