Holocaust and WW II

Schindler's Factory. The building of the Deutsche Emailwarenfabrik - Schindler's Factory at Lipowa 4 Street.



The factory was constructed in the year 1937 as a place designated for production of enamelled and tin wares. It was taken over by a German entrepreneur, Oskar Schindler, in 1939. The factory produced goods for the German army. After reconstruction, since 1943, it also produced canteens, bullet shells and fuses. Polish workers were, in great numbers, substituted by much cheaper Jewish prisoners from the camp in Płaszów.  Their numbers in 1944 estimated 1100 people. When Nazi Germans started liquidating the camps along with the prisoners for fear of the approaching battlefront, Schindler with help of his accountant Itzhak Stern created a list of his workers and members of their families (later referred to as Schindler's List), ransomed the prisoners and transported them to a new factory in Czechoslovakia.


The movie "Schindler's List"

The story of the factory and its owner was described in a novel "Schindler's Ark" by an Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. Later Steven Spielberg based his film "Schinler's List" on this very book.


The Museum

Today the administrative facilities of the factory house the department of Historical Museum of the City of Kraków with an exhibition. Kraków and its inhabitants at the time of the World War II are presented in 45 exposition rooms. The exposition has been divided into several segments dedicated to specific subjects: war in 1939, everyday life of the inhabitants of Kraków during occupation, history of the Kraków's Jews, underground country and stories of people who worked in the factory as well as the story of Schindler himself. 


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