Attractions

Oskar Schindler’s Factory Tour, Kraków

The story of Oskar Schindler really came to prominence for most of us after seeing Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List. Schindler was a German industrialist, opportunist and Nazi Party member who ended up saving the lives of  1200 of his Jewish factory workers.

In 1939, Oskar Schindler took over the enamelware factory known as DEF (Deutsche Emailwarenfabrik) at 4 Lipowa Street, Kraków. Schindler’s Nazi connections and friendship with the infamous  SS commandant Amon Göth, helped him protect his Jewish workers from deportation to the concentration camps.

The factory is about a 30-minute walk from Old Town Kraków. The route takes you through the old Jewish quarter, over the river and then past the former wartime Jewish Ghetto.

Invasion of Poland

The Invasion of Poland

As well as the Oskar Schindler story the main exhibition housed in the former factory details the history of Kraków and its inhabitants, both Polish and Jewish under the Nazi Occupation from 1939 to 1945.

 Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945

Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945

The exhibition starts just before the start of the second world war and takes you through the German invasion of Poland, the formation of the Jewish Ghetto and the  Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp and up to the entering to the city of Soviet forces on 18 January 1945.

Oskar Schindler's Original Office

Oskar Schindler’s original office.

Oskar Schindler’s original office in the factory’s admin building has survived the Soviet years and has been preserved intact.

Plaszow concentration camp

A reconstruction of the electrified fences of Plaszow camp.

The reconstruction of the Plaszów concentration camp with its electrified barbed wire fences. Jews, as well as Polish prisoners were sent to the Plaszów labour camp, they were used as workers for the neighbouring factories.

Hall of Choices

‘Hall of Choices’ symbolising the ethical dilemmas encountered during war.

The exhibition route concludes through a dark uneven corridor into a bright sculptural installation called the “Hall of Choices”. The installation is designed to highlight the ethical dilemmas and attitudes encountered by people during wartime.

We found the exhibition to be extremely informative and well curated. The chronological layout, real life exhibits and reconstructions provide a detailed view of Kraków’s history and the tragedies suffered by both Polish and Jewish, during the war.

The Oskar Schindler’s Factory exhibition open daily and has an entrance fee of 21 PLN. Entrance is free on Mondays during the winter and on the first Monday of the month during the summer.

Oskar Schindler’s Factory
ul. Lipowa 4
Krakow 30-702
Poland

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  • Jenna
    February 26, 2017 at 7:24 am

    How interesting–I never realized there was an exhibition on Oskar Schindler’s Factory. Would love to check it out sometime. Spots like this are always sad, but they are great to see in person and a good way to learn more about what happened in history!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 26, 2017 at 9:37 am

      The exhibition in the factory was really interesting, very well curated with some excellent reconstructions.

  • Maartje
    February 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for choosing a subject for your article that tells us about the important history. I was touched by the video you made, the music is beautiful!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

      It is a place you must visit when in Krakow.

  • Mike Cotton
    February 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    The film, while uplifting and one of hope is beyond heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine seeing the factory in real life.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Many of the scenes were filmed at the original factory. As you mentioned, there are heartbreaking parts but also elements of hope too. What is worth remembering is that it was not that long ago.

  • Anne Klien ( MeAnne)
    February 27, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I was in Krakow but only visited the Auschwitz, it looks like its a smaller exhibit version of Auschwitz.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 27, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Although it does tell the story of Schindler it is an exhibition which focusses on the city and people of Krakow during the Nazi occupation.

  • Aileen Adalid
    February 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Back when I visited Krakow, I didn’t have a chance to visit the Schindler factory, but I did go to Auschwitz. It was such a sad day for me. In fact, I can still remember how emotional I got when I saw the hair. It was too much. Hopefully, we all learn from this part of history. Great post!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      The Schindler factory gives a more general history of Krakow during wartime, although showing the dark days of the war it does have some hope too.

  • Veronika Tomanova
    February 27, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    I have been to Krakow but I had to idea there was the factory from movie Schindler’s list! Now I need to revisit it – it indeed looks like informative place to go.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 28, 2017 at 11:21 am

      You must go when you are next in Krakow.

  • Mansoureh
    February 27, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    It is so good to learn about the history when we travel. I haven’t visited many memorials of war except Anne Frank’s house. It was a very sad moment. Unfortunately, There are many wars around the globe and it seems they never end 🙁

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Yes,unfortunately It does seem that history repeats itself.

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    February 28, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I was riveted by Schindelrs Story. It must have been indeed fascinating to visit the factory. Ghosts from the past must have scurried past, rendering a mysterious aura to your visit. On a serious note this is a really interesting and intriguing tour. Krakow is a reminder to all humanity of the depths to which Man can fall.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 28, 2017 at 11:24 am

      It was fascinating visiting the factory and a reminder that is wasn’t that long ago and that it could easily happen again.

  • Megan Jerrard
    March 1, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Wow this is somewhere I would really like to visit – and I’m so glad that they’re preserving this part of history, because while a tragic time which I’m sure many would like to forget, it’s important that we remember to that future generations don’t repeat our history. Incredible that his office survived the Soviet era intact! Oskar Schindler’s story is a really incredible one.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 4, 2017 at 7:32 am

      It was one of the most interesting places we have visited for a long time. The actual office was one of the few parts which survived the Soviet era.

  • Anita Hendrieka
    March 1, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I have never been to Krakow but I am definitely adding this to the list of places to see when I eventually get there. It’s so heartbreaking to hear about the history.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 4, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Krakow and Polan is really interesting place to visit if you get chance.