By Michael Lawrence
Today we toured Kazimierz (the Jewish district) and saw a lot of spots where the Jewish community were initially rounded up to be sent to the Cracow Ghetto during the invasion of Poland. We saw many spots where the filming of Schindler’s List took place. This really was an eye opening thing to see where the actual filming and events took place.
Later we toured the Jewish Ghetto of Cracow. We saw the walls that the Nazis made the Jews build to constitute the area of the Ghetto. We toured the old Jewish cemeteries that the Nazis destroyed. We also toured old and new Jewish Synagogues. These were interesting to see for me, because I come from such a strong Christian background. We had to wear proper Jewish headwear when entering the old synagogue, but not when we entered the new one. The architecture was absolutely stunning.
After this, we toured the Cracow concentration camp Plaszow, which was the concentration camp in Schindler’s List. The camp was no longer there; instead it was a bunch of, both Jewish and Christian, monuments in remembrance of the Holocaust. At this point the somber atmosphere started to sink in, as we were standing on the grounds where hundreds of innocent people were massacred.
After this we toured Oskar Schindler’s factory. I thought it would be a history of him and his diligence in saving hundreds of Jewish lives, but instead it showed the history of the Holocaust in Cracow. It was a very eye opening and humbling experience, to say the least.