The Ghetto Heroes Square
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The area
Neighborhood: Stare Podórze
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,513 reviews
Excellent
770
Very good
528
Average
193
Poor
20
Terrible
2

Tom J
London, UK1,437 contributions
Jan 2020
The Ghetto Heroes Square is a very powerful yet simplistic reminder of those that were forced to leave their homes for and not return. The square was once the main space for activity in the ghetto ranging from socialising to execution.

As it stands today there are 70 metal chairs featured in the square said to represent 10,000 people each. There isn't a huge amount of information available at the sight about its history so I would highly recommend doing your research or taking a tour to really understand its past.
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paula
Wigan, UK2 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Great to see the chairs. They are not where our map said they were & were tricky to find. They are on the opposite side of the river to the old town and are close to the Jewish ghetto. Near to a big bus terminal - come over the bridge & go straight ahead they are on the right hand side. On the far corner of the square is the pharmacy which helped save lives during WW11.
Written May 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandy O
Sauk City, WI1,091 contributions
Jul 2022
While standing here you realize that the building at the end was the actual guard shack. Heroes Square was the largest open spot in the Ghetto. People could come here to escape the overcrowded tenaments. This is also the place where deportation took place. The chairs were put here in 2005 to represent the 68000 people who were deported from here.
Written August 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vierdank
Stockholm, Sweden5,016 contributions
Sep 2022
Deportation square. Five minutes walk from Schindler's factory/museum.
Recommended walk is Schindler, the Square and on to the Kazmierz Jewish area.

It's nothing much to see if you're not aquinted with the history. So, if not: do your homework and you'll learn that this was a really heavy place of deportation.
The little "house" at the end of the square is the old guard building.
The chairs were installed in 2005 (if I'm not wrong) to commemorate the nearly 70 000 deported persons in the final stages of the holocaust.

Don't miss it if you're in the area.
Written October 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah C
17 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
We went quite early on our way to visit Oskar Schindlers factory. There was no body else there other than a couple of residents passing through. It is a very moving tribute to the people that lived there. I later found online the picture that inspired the chairs
Written February 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands3,407 contributions
Oct 2020
This square just across the river in Podgorze suburb was the scene of immense crimes in Nazi-occupied Poland early 1940s. From it thousands of Jewish people were deported to the gaschambers in Belzec and Auschwitz.

70 empty chairs each representing 1000 of the last 7000 victims that had remained in the ghetto until its liquidation in March 1943 stand spread over the square. Until the very last moment people had clung to the idea that they would just be moved and had taken stuff (mostly in bundles, but also some furniture) with them. They were forced to abandon it on the square. Like cattle they were herded to the railway station at Prokocim to be transported to the death camps.

A minority of people had seen it coming and had resisted with attacks on German troops in the months prior to the liquidation. A plaque at the north side of the square remembers them as heroes. The text is revealing "we are fighting for three lines in history only to show that Jewish youth did not go like sheep to the slaughter".

After the liquidation of the ghetto, Krakow was declared a 'free zone' (Juden frei, meaning free from Jews). Only empty chairs were left.
Written December 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hawk470
Baltimore, MD2,549 contributions
Jun 2019
A short walk across a bridge over the Vistula from Kazimierz, the bustling historical center of Jewish Krakow and home to many of the key sites, brings you to the former industrial area of Podgorze which has undergone much gentrification in recent years; with residences, restaurants, hotels and shops sprouting up.

In March 1941, Krakow’s Jewish population was forced to abandon their homes in Kazimierz and the rest of the city, as well as many of the surrounding towns and villages, and move into the ghetto constructed across the river in Podgorze. There you will find several monuments (in the broadest sense of the term), commemorating the inhuman treatment of the population and the resulting tragic murder of thousands when the liquidation of the ghetto began in May 1942.

In addition to some fragments of the ghetto wall, several monuments stand out. Each unique and each telling a complementary story to the others.

The incredibly poignant chair memorial – 70 empty metal chairs arrayed across the Plac Bohaterow Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square) -- gives silent testimony to the crimes committed on that very spot – the brutal roundups, executions in the street, and the herding of the population into cattle cars for extermination at the Belzec death camp and later, the Plaszow Labor Camp nearby, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the aftermath of the war, the guard house became a public toilet and the square, a parking lot. In 2005, the memorial was created with the 70 empty chairs symbolizing the thousands who disappeared and were murdered.

Also, on the square, you will find another monument. This one with a different message. The Eagle Pharmacy was run by Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff, the only non-Jewish Poles who lived and conducted their lives in the Ghetto. Just a few rooms, the small museum recounts the story of the Ghetto, the pharmacy and the role it played in Ghetto life. In addition to dispensing medicine, the pharmacy provided a venue for information exchange, illegal correspondence and money delivery and a hiding place for religious and family valuables. For his efforts, in 1983 Tadeusz Pankiewicz was awarded a medal as one of the Righteous Among the Nations by Israel's Yad Vashem.

Nearby, you will also find Oskar Schindler’s enamelware factory which employed Jews and through which he saved hundreds of lives. For this, he and his wife Emilie also were named Righteous Among the Nations. In addition to honoring Schindler and his employees, the museum covers Krakow’s history during the occupation more broadly and with artifacts and multimedia displays.

A visit to Podgorze can be somber, but the memory of the righteous souls who worked here and saved many lives helps to balance your view of humanity.
Written August 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MedArt
Illinois8 contributions
Jun 2015 • Friends
I am appalled by reviewers who dismiss this place as a bad piece of art or as a poor photo op, especially in "gloomy weather." What can possibly be wrong with people that they manage to utter such offensive drivel? Did they expect to come to the ghetto square and snap cool pics in pretty sunshine? This is a Holocaust monument to 65000 dead. It is a deeply moving, heart-wrenching piece. It is a must-see for those who care to see and think and remember. Those who come to the city to drink beers on the market square and then more beers in the Jewish quarter, and those who put a visit to the castle on the same itinerary as a visit to Auschwitz, should not insult this place, which commemorates deaths of men, women, and children -- small innocent children slaughtered by their fellow humans -- with their presence.
Written June 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cashelguy
Cudahy, WI352 contributions
Jul 2014 • Couples
This square is the departure point for Krakow Jews being sent to Auschwitz and other camps by the Nazis. Chairs may seem to be an odd choice for a memorial, but they represent the furniture local Jews had to carry with them when they were herded into the ghetto at the start of Nazi occupation. There is no description of the chairs meaning, but, in a way, all comment is superfluous after such a horror.
Written January 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thomas B
Winslow, UK37 contributions
Jan 2018 • Couples
This square was just inside the ghetto walls and was the place where the Jews were summoned to board transport out of the ghetto. After they had gone their belongings were left in the square and the stone chairs represent their items.
It's a clever and poigniant reminder of the terrible fate of these people during the war.
Written January 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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