RECOMMENDED PRIVATE TOURS AND STUDY TRIPS
Private, individually guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Cracow Ghetto, Schindler's Factory and Plaszow Camp.
Years of experience have thought us about different motivations of visitors coming to see Auschwitz-Birkenau. Noticing the serious drawbacks of growing mass touristic visits we decided to offer one day private tours of Auschwitz, according to our academically developed and experience based itinerary.
Private, individually guided tour of Cracow, Kazimierz, Cracow Ghetto and Schindler's Factory.
There is much about Cracow and Kazimierz which is conceived from the eyes of visitors in the city's history, legends and atmosphere. A good guide on a well-conducted tour can easily unveil this invisible dimension.
Private, individually guided tour of Polish Shtetls.
One day tour itinerary based on splendid history of Jewish communities in Poland and Galicia. Villages and cities which before WW II were the very essence of Jewish life in Poland are now waiting to be re-discovered.
Private, individually guided tour of Lublin / Majdanek and Action Reinchard Death Camps of Treblinka, Bełzec and Sobibor.
The three death camps of Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor represent the ultimate evil of the German Nazis and ultimate destruction of Polish Jewry. Those places are often scarcely known about because the Nazis did their best so that we would not remember them.
You can find more travel itineraries at TOURS, SITES, PAST PROJECTS or HOLOCAUST EDUCATION and JEWISH HERITAGE AND HOLOCAUST TRAVEL MAP OF POLAND.
NEWS FROM CRACOW AND GALICIA
D±browa Tarnowska Synagogue restored
In June 2012 the Synagogue in D±browa Tarnowska was opened after major renovation works carried by the local municipality and financed from the city budget and EU funds. The restored building is housing the Center for the Meeting of Cultures in D±browa Tarnowska with an extensive exhibit dedicated to the history of local Jewish community.
The D±browa synagogue dates back to early 1860s when the growing Jewish community decided for this monumental
structure along the main street in the city. It was build according to the plans of Jewish architect Abraham Goldstein. Funds were mostly provided by Izaak Stern, a local Jewish
philanthropist whose donation was recognized in the Hebrew inscription in the upper part of the eastern wall. Construction and finishing works were conducted from 1855 to 1865.
In early XX century a small synagogue for Orthodox Jews and Mikveh were build adjacent to the main building. During WW I the complex suffered some destruction because of the
vicinity of the Russian-Austrian frontline and was restored with the donation of a local resident named Gold. Another, more extensive and throughout renovation was conducted
from 1936 to 1937 under the supervision of Dora Mertz from Tarnów. A characteristic three-storey gallery flanked with two towers containing staircases was added at that time. Near the top of the towers
there are four bas-relief sculptures of biblical animals with Hebrew inscriptions: be brave like a leopard, be light like as eagle, be strong like a lion, be nimble like a deer.
During WW II the synagogue was changed into warehouse by the German Nazis and in spite of some reconstruction attempts undertaken in the 1970s it had to wait as ruin until 2008 when the just finished major reconstruction was undertaken.
You can find the pictures at PolinTravel.Guide.Genealogy.Poland
D±browa Tarnowska Synagogue October 2012
69 Anniversary of Sobibór Uprising.
Pictures taken on October 4th,2012 of the least visited and commemorated of the Reinhard Action Death Camps where 250.000 to 300.000 Jews from Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic and Jewish Soviet POW were killed from April 1942 till October 1943.
You can find the pictures at PolinTravel.Guide.Genealogy.Poland
Last year the first volume of Sobibór first monograph was published by Marek Bem in Włodawa.
This year in the 70 Anniversary of Wansee Conferance and Action Reinhard POLIN TRAVEL was making a photo documentation of all camps , ghettos and Nazi decision centers in former Nazi Lublin District. In case of anybody interested in photos we will be glad to share.
Sobibor Rail Sign October 2012
67th Anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau Liberation,
In late January 1945 Auschwitz SS administration started the evacuation of 58 thousands of work capable prisoners into the III Reich interior, this initiated the infamous Auschwitz Death Marches. The hectic evacuation of the camp due to the fast approaching Soviet army was also encompassing the massive destruction of physical evidence of mass extermination project carried at the camp grounds from spring 1942 till late 1944. This included mass burning of camp records, removal of buried corpses and ashes, burning of Canada (prisoner's property) barracks. Finally on January 20th the SS blew up Crematoria, Gas Chamber number II and III and on January 26th the same was done with Crematoria, Gas Chamber number V. The similar building number IV was previously damaged and partly burned after the mutiny of Sondercommando prisoners on October 1944.
On the the 27th of January 1945 the Red Army troops entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau grounds liberating the entire large complex of camps with over 7000 emaciated prisoners still alive. This event gave an end to almost five years history of German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau which took lives of up to one and a half million of human beings, mainly Jews.
70th Anniversary of the Nazi Wansee Conference and initiation of the mass extermination of Jews in Death Camps,
January 20th, 2012 was the 70th anniversary of Wansee Conference at which the German Nazis took the decisions about the ultimate shape of the "Final solution to the Jewish question" in Europe. There were 15 high ranked German Nazis participating in Wansee, at least eight of them with PhD titles. Within a few weeks after the conferance the first mass transports of Polish Jews were sent to Death Camp of Belzec. The first mass transport of Jews to Auschwitz arrived on March 26th, 1942 from Slovakia.
Kazmierz Smoleń the former prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau number 1327, and long time director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum passed away on January 27th,2012.
Kazimierz Smoleń the former prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and long time director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum passed away on January 27th,2012. Kazimierz Smoleń was arrested in April 1940, deported to Auschwitz on July 6th, 1940 he was given a KL Auschwitz number 1327. He survived the camp for the next almost five years. On January 18th, 1945 with Auschwitz evacuation he was deported to Mauthausen. Finally Kazimierz Smoleń was liberated on May 6th,1945 in Ebensee, a sub camp of Mauthausen, over 5 years after his imprisonment. After the war he was working in the Commission to Investigate the Nazi Crimes in Poland and participated as a witness and expert in trials of SS staff of Nazi Concentration Camps. Kazimierz Smoleń was one of the creators of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau established in 1947 and from 1955 till 1990 he served as the director of the Museum. After retirement he was still devoted to the Auschwitz education and worked witnessing about the camp history to younger generations till his very last days. Blessed be his memory.
MIZRAHI SYNAGOGUE IN BĘDZIN was re-opened after five years of renovation works.
In early 2012 the city of Będzin has finished the five years renovation project of Mizrahi synagogue in the city. This XIX century synagogue was established by Będzin merchant Jakub Chil Winer in the basement of his house. The synagogue was the only one surviving the Holocaust in the city. It was re-discovered by local history enthusiasts in 2004, but its interior was very badly damaged with polychromies pealing off. In the last five years the city has invested over 120.000 PLN in restoration project. Now the interior is brought back to its colorful and splendid shape. The polychromies are following Zionist , religious narration by depicting holy sites of Israel with some religious symbols and signs of Zodiac inserted. This unique synagogue will become another focal point for Zaglebie (Będzin, Sosnowiec and D±browa) Jews in the world.
Ceiling of the Mizrahi synagogue in Będzin after renovation.
Monument of Deportations of Bedzin Jews in 1943 to Auschwitz.
MARKET SQUARE/RYNEK UNDERGROUND - Following the traces of the European identity of Kraków
In autumn 2010 the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow opened its brand new exhibition in the excavated undergrounds of the Market Square and Cloth Hall building. This museum is the result of many years of archeological works undertaken in the very core of 1000 years history of Krakow and close to 800 years since its location. The archeologists reached the base level, indicating the first human activities in this area around 8 meters below the present surface of the market. The museum encompasses 700 archeological pieces, 500 digital models of buildings, 600 3D digital models of city structures in the time span of last 1000 years. During a visit we can admire medieval city stalls, cemeteries, cobblestone streets, jewelry and hundreds of artifacts well enhanced and enriched with multimedia presentations, 3D models and holograms. This new branch of the Krakow's Historical Museum provides a time vehicle across the last ten centuries of the city's history and makes every visitor feel the growing, accumulated city's beauty and potential. It will definitely become the main attraction for both inhabitants and tourists.
SCHINDLER'S FACTORY - Cracow under the German Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945
In summer 2010 the Krakow's Historical Museum opened its new branch at the premises of the former Schindler’s Factory. This modern museum is to present the history of Krakow under the German Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945. Large part of the exhibition is devoted to show life and annihilation of the Krakow’s ghetto. The museum is arranged chronologically, giving the visitor a unique opportunity to follow the war time narration and experience of occupation reality. The numerous artistic means and multimedia presentations enrich the exhibit and help to understand the complexity of Nazi occupation of Krakow and Poland.
The first part of the exhibit narrates the city's cultural, ethnic and religious richness in the 20’s and 30’s of the XX century. Stereographic pictures take us into the streets of the city just before the war. Then comes the September Campaign and gradual implementation of the new Nazi regime aimed against local population. The museum creators were able to reconstruct city's streets, prison cells, war time apartments with an successful effort to show general anxiety, chaos and individual human tragedy inflicted by war. The exhibition has many layers of narration and in this way can satisfy people who want to have just a general orientation in the war time in Cracow as well as history experts looking for some additional history details.
We offer certified guides and tours at the Museum in the former Schindler's Factory - "Krakow under the German Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945".