Day 15: Krakow – Gabbin ‘Bout Galicia

by Zack on August 18, 2010

As Mike so astutely mentioned the other day we were particularly impressedby the Galician Jewish Museum located in Krakow’s historic Jewish district of Kazimierz.

So much so that we returned on Tuesday to record an interview the the museums Educational Director Jakub Nowakowski. We learned a lot about the museum, which approaches Jewish history in Krakow and Galicia from a very unique perspective.  That perspective takes into account the full Jewish history of the region, the impact World War II had on it and the legacy of the war on the region.

We also visited the head of a local Jewish book store which has witnessed Kazimierz transformation from rough neighborhood of undesirables to a hip, trendy arts district. This change is due largely, but not solely, to the increased amount of tourists that came to the area after the filming of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winner Schindler’s List.

Finally, our interview-filled day was capped by a local genealogist, who provided useful insight into the role a genealogist plays, as well as some of the challenges that come from piecing together history from a variety of incomplete sources. This is, obviously, something we are experiencing first hand. But it’s encouraging to know that even the professionals have speedbumps.

Tonight it’s on to Chelm, a small town not far from the Ukrainian border with an interesting Jewish history itself.

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