Krakow - Kroke in Yiddish
Prior to the Second World War Krakow was the biggest Jewish community in Poland, where Jews constituted 65 000 inhabitants. The meaning of Krakow was particular for Jews of Eastern Europe. Kazimierz - the Jewish quarter - was one of the most important cultural and religious Jewish centres. Famous rabbis lived and worked here, one of them was Moses Isserles "Remuh". His tomb is the pilgrimage place for Jews from all over the world. In the north of Krakow there were numerous orthodox shtetls. The Chassids lived in the east of Krakow.
A small distance from Krakow is the biggest concentration camp set up by the Germans during the Second World War. More than 1 million people were murdered there. W.W.II put an end to the Jewish community in Poland. All that remains of the Jewish presence are synagogues and cemeteries in small towns, Kazimierz - the best-preserved former Jewish district in Europe, the memorial places and people aware of the duty to preserve the memory of their Jewish co-inhabitants.
1st day Krakow
afternoon City sightseeing tour of the Old Town (the Main Maket Square, St. Mary’s Church, the Jagiellonian University, the Royal Route, the Wawel Castle).
evening Dinner with a concert of klezmer music in a restaurant in Kazimierz.
2nd day Krakow - cont.
morning "From Paradisus Judeorum…"- visit to Kazimierz District - historical centre of Krakow's Jewish religious and social life. There you will admire the best-preserved synagogues and the examples of the pre-war Jewish architecture.
afternoon "… to the extermination" - tour of the past ghetto site in Podgorze District with entrance to the remembrance museum - the Under the Eagle Pharmacy. The place was in the very heart of the Krakow ghetto for Jews during the Nazi occupation. The museum presents a permanent exhibition Krakow Ghetto and Plaszów Camp and organises lectures for school youth on the Holocaust in Krakow. There you see the sites, which Steven Spielberg used for his location shots of the Oscar winning "Schindler's List".
evening Dinner in a hotel. Leisure time.
3rt day Shtetl - following the traces of Jewish villages
Whole day excursion to the past shtetls located in the North of Krakow. A trial to reconstruct the lives, structures and the customs of Eastern European Jews living in shtetls prior to W.W.II.
Route: Krakow - Dzialoszyce - Pinczow - Chmielnik - Szydlow - Checiny - Krakow.
evening Return to Krakow. Dinner and leisure time.
4rt day Auschwitz - topography and logic of extermination
Whole day stay in Auschwitz.
morning Visiting of the concentration camp in Auschwitz I called Stammlager.
afternoon Visiting of Auschwitz II called Birkenau.
evening Return to Cracow. Dinner and overnight.
5th day Auschwitz - topography and logic - cont.
Whole day stay in Auschwitz
morning Option: visit to the archives department and meeting with the scientist from the museum or visit to the one of the educational centres and discussion about the current Jewish-Christian dialogue’s condition. Free time for individual visiting.
afternoon Visit to Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue and the Jewish Centre in Auschwitz, where you see an exhibition and watch a documentary film about the Jewish community in Auschwitz before the Second World War.
evening Return to Krakow.
6th day Krakow
morning Meeting at the Jewish Culture Centre in Kazimierz. A discussion about the current situation of the Jewish community in Poland and Polish-Jewish relationships.
afternoon Leisure time.
evening Dinner in one of the Old Town restaurants.