On my way to Oskar Schindler’s Factory in Kazimierz, I walked through Ghetto Heroes’ Square and also saw the Pharmacy Under the Eagle. I’d read a good amount about both of these sites while researching my trip and I thought it was worth a mention here.
In my Krakow post a few days ago, I’d mentioned that Ghetto Heroes’ Square was a moving art installation.The Krakow ghetto was originally established on March 3, 1941 and on May 4th, 1942, it’s destruction began. In Plac Zgody Square (what is now known as Ghetto Heroes Square) roughly 4,000 Jewish men, women, and children were rounded up and deported when the ghetto was being liquidated and demolished. The 70 chairs that sit in the square today are an art installation designed by Polish architects Kazimierz Latak and Piotr Lewicki. It’s designed to make you feel the loneliness that the people who were deported from this square felt. There is one chair per every 1,000th person that lived in the ghetto.
And in one corner of the Ghetto Heroes Square, you can see Apteka Pod Orłem, also know as the Pharmacy Under the Eagle. When all other non-Jewish businesses and person left the are within the ghetto, the pharmacists, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, decided to stay. Here he saw every deportation in the square and began to help the people who were imprisoned and being deported. He supplied food, medicine, and falsified documents. Pankiewicz is recognized as one of the “Righteous Among Nations” for his good deeds and he wrote a book about everything he saw. The pharmacy is now a branch of Krakow Historical Museum and you can take a tour of the 5-room pharmacy where so many were saved. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to tour the pharmacy, but if you can, I definitely would.
Tip: The free walking tour of Kazimierz ends in Ghetto Heroes Square, so it was dark and quite haunting by the time we would up in front of it.