A hazy morning. We walked along the Vistula–aren’t all great cities by water?–past the old Jewish section of town, Kazimerz, to the museum that’s been created in the former location of the Schindler factory. The river was lovely, the walk pleasant. On the way, we saw a mural on an abandoned building.
The museum has been constructed with artifacts and exhibits to try to explain what happened in Krakow when the Germans invaded. Perhaps it would make a good introduction for those who don’t know, it’s hard to judge.
The part that was meaningful to me was the film interviewing three individuals who worked in the Schindler factory, two Jews, one Pole. If you’ve seen Schindler’s List, you know the basic story of how the German, Oskar Schindler, as he saw what was happening to the Jews in Krakow, employed more and more of them to keep them out of the camps. One of the Jews told how, in about 1943, Schindler called many of them out of work, packed them into trucks, and sent them to a new location. The next day, the Nazi’s came with a list of their names to round them up, and they were all registered as “dismissed.” At about this time, the Pole came to work one morning, and the entire factory was gone, every machine, all the equipment. He couldn’t believe it. Schindler had moved it overnight, along with those he protected.
The museum of Contemporary Art is right next door to the factory. We went in–it’s a huge building with absolutely nothing on the whole first floor. Downstairs there was a small exhibit of photos and art about the rebellion in the Ukraine. As Larry put it–nothing here that a second-year art student couldn’t do. But there was one photo I liked, of a musician who put a piano painted in Ukrainian national colors right in front of the police and sat and played. A different mode of protest.
Walking back through Kazimerz, we saw a balloon over the city.