Fendler Gallery, 12 Józefa St.
The exhibition “There is no tomorrow for us…” will open on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto. It was created to commemorate the Jews of Kraków who were forced by the Germans to leave their homes and move to a ghetto created in Podgórze, from where the vast majority were sent to concentration and extermination camps.
The myth that Jews behaved passively during the Holocaust, did not fight or resist, still lingers in the popular consciousness. Through this exhibition, showing the conditions of life in the ghetto, which existed from March 1941 to March 1943, the ways of coping with this horrifying reality and the various forms of resistance, we aim to show how untrue and hurtful such statements are.
Resistance did not always have to mean armed struggle. Many of the thousands of Jews imprisoned in the Kraków ghetto, as in other ghettos in occupied Poland, began their private struggle against the Nazis and their collaborators precisely by trying to preserve their own dignity. In inhumane conditions, in the face of terror and the constant threat to life, an act of resistance could be even a small gesture towards another human being or an ordinary daily activity performed in spite of everything, against hopelessness and resignation.
The exhibition is based in part on materials from the temporary exhibition “Fighting for Dignity: Jewish Resistance in Kraków”, prepared in 2008 by the Galicia Jewish Museum.
The place of presentation of this exhibition is not accidental – after all, Kazimierz is the historic Jewish quarter of Kraków, and the famous courtyard between Jozef and Meisels Streets in Kraków’s Kazimierz is known not only for the photographs of the great masters who captured its extraordinary picturesqueness and atmosphere. The courtyard appears in a moving, symbolic scene in the film “Schindler’s List,” which largely shaped the popular perception of the most tragic chapter in the history of Krakow’s Jews, both in Poland and abroad. Admittedly, the film led to many misunderstandings, if only because the scenes set in the Kraków ghetto were filmed in Kazimierz and the images became fixed in the minds of viewers, so today it has to be explained to visitors to Krakow that the ghetto was in fact in another part of the city. However, the importance of “Schindler’s List” for raising the level of knowledge about the Holocaust and, in particular, about the wartime fate of Kraków’s Jews, and for increasing interest in this subject and in the accounts of survivors, cannot be overestimated.