Skip to content

Kraków Chairs Memorial

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. 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, outside the main gate of 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

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 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

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
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!

If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page and Twitter.
P.S.- This article belongs to Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft. Thank you.

23 thoughts on “Kraków Chairs Memorial”

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.