Krakow, Day 2

We drove through the countryside for an hour to see Auschwitz. I wrote an entire blog post on that yesterday. It was an overwhelming experience.

Daniel Libeskind collaborated with photographer Caryl Englander and curator Henri Lustiger Thaler from the Amud Aish Memorial Museum to present a temporary exhibition at Auschwitz called “Through the Lens of Faith”. It is fantastic and I hope it travels around the globe.

Each of these rectangular poles have a short memory from a Holocaust survivor on the front who is still alive. Many of these people are in their 90’s and have gone on to have children and grandchildren.

When you open the door you see the person behind the story. It is extremely powerful. We opened every single door. We saw this at the end of our tour which made it even more powerful. How these people survived is astonishing.

We came back into town and our first stop was for lunch at Pierogi Vincent. The backdrop was a few paintings from Vincent Van Gogh, a starry yellow night on the ceiling and a few tables in two rooms. They have so many choices. We went for chanterelles (mushrooms are big in this town) and beef/pork and had to have a side of Borscht. Wasn’t great but when in Poland….

This neighborhood we were in is the Jewish Quarter where all the Jews lived prior to all of them being moved across the river into the Jewish Ghetto during the war. The neighborhood feels good like it is on the way back. There are a few synagogues that are being renovated. This one is the more reformed temple that survived the war.

The ceiling is beautiful.

This map highlights the survival of the temples and the old cemetery in the area.

This is the back of the other temple. It is amazing that this survived the war.

Stopped by the bagel shop to check out the wares. A bit chewy.

There had to be an area of food trucks. Just like every city, they are somewhere including Uber and even Uber Eats!

The Galacia Jewish Museum located in the area has a permanent exhibition called Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland. It is fantastic. Professor Jonathan Webber searched for the Jewish past in Southern Poland going town to town. He then collaborated with English photographer Chris Schwarz creating over 1000 photographs with historical data. Powerful. The war still looms heavily over Krakow.

We strolled across the bridge. One side is for walking and the other for biking.

On the way back we walked into this beautiful store and although the aroma of sausages was enticing we went for a few sweets. The two women that ran the shopped seemed almost shocked that we walked in.

Sweets is not their thing. The best one was the bar with jam. It tasted like a really good blueberry pop tart.

Finally did have another bagel from the bagel purveyors on the street. This was pretty good. A mixture of a bagel/pretzel.

We had dinner at Farina’s, the fancier part of town. Good oysters from France.

Krakow is a city worth visiting. The architecture has survived, you can feel new life being fed into the streets although there is still a layer of the Soviet past that still drapes over the city. Really glad we went.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Thanks for this.From your’s and Fred’s posts, have started to reread Night.And to think back to the women in my congregation growing up with numbers tattooed on her arm. And her shyness and refusal to talk about the experience.Generally good to be reminded. Of this historical horror. Of my heritage.Gonna make a return visit to the Holocaust museum later in the week as an homage to these thoughts.

  2. pointsnfigures

    is that one thing a bialy? Looks like it. I think that the memorials are awesome. Too bad Turkey doesn’t do the same for the slaughter of Armenians. Interestingly, it was where Germany saw slaughtering and bringing hardship to one segment of people was done.

  3. Wiktor Sarota

    I don’t know for how long you’re going to stay in Krakow, but a few recommendations:Schindler’s Factory: https://www.muzeumkrakowa.p… Restaurants: I think you can enjoy: Zazie Bistro (French), EdRed (Steaks), Nolio (Italian) in the former Jewish District, a great salad bar in Old City Chimera or Kogel Mogel (Polish).Breakfast: Massolit Bakery & Cafe

    1. Gotham Gal

      Massolit was the best spot