Memorial on Ghetto
Heroes Square in Podgorze Ghetto, New Year´s Eve 2005/2006
Photo kindly provided by Paul
The Memorial shown in the photo above,
which was designed by Krakow architects Piotr Lewicki and Kazimierz
Latak, opened on 8 December 2005 in Plac Bohaterów Getta
(Ghetto Heroes Square) in the former Podgorze ghetto. The design
includes 33 large empty chairs and 37 smaller chairs located
on the edge of the square and at the tram stops. The Memorial
also includes a mark on the pavement which shows where the walls
of the Ghetto were formerly located and a small building where
visitors may light candles in honor of the murdered Jews.
The architects named the project Nowy
Plac Zgody (New Concordia Square), but nobody calls it that,
according to Paul Kubisztal, the photographer who took this dramatic
photo. Prior to 1948, this location was called Plac Zgody (Concordia
Square), a name that is still sometimes used by the locals.
This square was called the Umschlagplatz
by the Nazis; it was the place where the Jews had to assemble
before being transported to the Belzec death camp in two separate
actions in June 1942 and October 1942. The Podgorze Ghetto was
liquidated on March 13, 1943 when the Jews who were able to work
were sent to the Plaszow forced labor camp just outside the city
of Krakow, and the rest were sent to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
According to information given by the Auschwitz Museum, March
13, 1943 was the day that the gas chamber in Krema II at Birkenau
was first used when 1,492 women, children and elderly Jews from
the Podgorze Ghetto were put to death immediately upon arrival
and their bodies were burned in the ovens.
Photographer Paul Kubisztal can be contacted
at this e-mail address: email@example.com