Krakow Kazimierz District

Kazımıerz Region is located on the side of Vistula River and it had been a center of Jewish people in Europe before the Second World War.

We went to the Catholic side first in this region. I met such a wide area that I have never even dreamt of it. It was interesting that churhes here were surrounded by the walls. Because some people had damaged the churches, so they had to use this way.

Then, we went to Jewish side. Before the war, there were 60,000 Jewish people having lived here. What about now? There are only 300 Jewish people here. There are a lot of synagogues on even every corner. But only two of them are open for praying. We went inside to the most attractive one. Stained glasses are still remarkably gorgeous like they are new. Inside part is very clean and well-kept. The synagogues which are not open for praying, are being used as libraries.

You should see the synagogue from the 16th century, it is being used as Jewish History Museum.

There is an antique bazaar closer to the center of Kazimierz. We got off here and walked around the bazaar quickly. I said bazaar but there were 15 counters  at most. There was a big bazaar two days a week across. But it was a regular bazaar in which there sold potato, tomato, cucumber, etc.

In this square, there has been held Soup and Hotdog festivals. In soup festival, everybody brings their soup and makes a contest on them. In the hotdog festival, there helds a hotdog eating contest.

There were a lot of little bitty cafes and restaurants n the city center of Kazimierz. There was also a birth house of Helena Rubenstein in this square but now it was serving as a restaurant.

Across this square there were the most famous and the richest synagogue of the region and Jewish graveyard right next to it. On the high walls of the synagogue, there were marble tablets lined up spaceless. These tablets had been made fort he memorials of families by the people survived from the war. For example, on a tablet wrote: ” Farber Family, between 1939 and 1945, 88 people killed.” 88 was just the people killed from that family. I looked at the tablets on the Wall, the numbers were like that: “26, 32, 59, 96, 117…” Thinking about the total number hurted me. We went out saying  “Rest in Peace” for them.

There was a stone memorial for Jewish people killed in the war at the square exit. We got on our vehicle and passed to the other side of the city. There was also a wide square there. In the square there were so many chairs In the time of Holocaust, 1,700 Jewish people were massacred on the Street behind this square. They had brought elders, women, children and  weak men here. They had massacred the men and the elders in this square, while they were burning the women and children on this street in Thursday. Since that day, this area has been started to be called as “Bloody Thursday”. The bus stop on this square was still calling “Gestapo Station” and on the signboard at the entrance wrote: 1941- 1943.

On the right side of this square, there was a 15 meters part of the walls surrounded the old getto in between 1941 and 1943. Upper par t of these walls had been builted like a semi-circle to be looked like a gravestone. In that way, they could apply a psychological pressure on them and give the feelng of death.

You should see Kazimierz region at night. There was a bohemian kind of fun here. The places you can go: Singer, Propaganda and Alchemia. And Poland cuisine resembles Austria-Hungary cuisine a lot. 

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