Birkenau (Auschwitz II – Birkenau), Oświęcim, Poland

The main railroad spur line led directly into and through the administration building (housing the Nazi SS officers and guard) at Birkenau (Auschwitz II) concentration-death camp in Oś

The main railroad spur line led directly into and through the administration building (housing the Nazi SS officers and guards) at Birkenau (Auschwitz II) concentration/death camp in Oświęcim, Poland

 

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER (part II)

The Auschwitz concentration and death camp is actually comprised of three sites.  Auschwitz I (generally referred to as Auschwitz) is the original concentration and death camp that operated from 1940 through 1945 and was featured in our previous blog, “Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland”.  A few years after Auschwitz I began operation, the Nazis greatly expanded the scope of the overall Oświęcim site with an additional camp, primarily a death camp – Auschwitz II (generally referred to as Birkenau), well known for the infamous train track that leads into and trough the main administration building.  It was here that the majority of newly arrived detainees (mostly Jews) were separated from their belongings and their family members and marched to their death in the “showers” (gas chambers).  Auschwitz III is a much smaller camp, slightly removed from the first two Oświęcim camps, located in the village of Monowice, Poland, and is not open to the public.  Called Monowitz (in German), the Auschwitz III camp was built as an Arbeitslager (workcamp) and held about 12,000 prisoners (mostly Jewish).

Following our tour of the Auschwitz I site, we went over for an extensive walk through of Auschwitz II – Birkenau — with our guide from the Auschwitz museum.  Note that a lot of the Birkenau camp is now open fields, as the wooden barracks were either torn down or burned down.  The vastness of the site is incredible, as described below.

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland (#2)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum, Birkenau (Auschwitz II), Oświęcim, Poland (#2)

 

View from the top of the administration building at Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland, showing the train tracks splitting inside the camp into three lines for the simultaneous unloading of

View from the top of the administration building at Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland, showing the train tracks splitting inside the camp into three lines for the simultaneous unloading of detainees from the railroad cattle cars; Birkenau contained 300 barracks and buildings on a vast site that covered 175 hectares (432.4 acres)

 

“Having completed the long tour of Auschwitz I, some visitors decline the opportunity to visit Auschwitz II – Birkenau, however it’s here that the impact of Auschwitz can be fully felt through the sheer size, scope and solitude of the second camp.  Added in 1942 Birkenau contained 300 barracks and buildings on a vast site that covered 175 hectares [432.4 acres].  Soon after the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, when Hitler and his henchmen rubber-stamped the wholesale extermination of European Jews, it grew to become the biggest and most savage of all the Nazi death factories, with up to 100,000 prisoners held there in 1944.

 

One of the Nazi railroad cattle cars used to transport detainees from cities all across Europe and as far south as Greece into Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland, where 70% of those who arri

One of the Nazi railroad cattle cars used to transport detainees from cities all across Europe and as far south as Greece into Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland, where 70% of those who arrived were herded directly into gas chambers where they perished

 

“The purpose-built train tracks leading directly into the camp still remain.  Here a grim selection process took place with 70% of those who arrived herded directly into gas chambers.  Those selected as fit for slave labour lived in squalid, unheated barracks where starvation, disease and exhaustion accounted for countless lives.  With the Soviets advancing, the Nazis attempted to hide all traces of their crimes.  Today little remains, with all gas chambers having been dynamited and living quarters levelled.  Climb the tower of the main gate for a full impression of the complex’s size.  Directly to the right lie wooden barracks used as a quarantine area, while across on the left hand side lie numerous brick barracks which were home to the penal colony and also the women’s camp.  At the far end of the camp lie the mangled remains of the crematoria, as well as a bleak monument unveiled in 1967.  After a comparably brief guided tour of the camp, visitors are left to wander and reflect on their own before catching the return bus to Auschwitz I.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

A view from the top of the administration building of the wooden barracks used as a quarantine area, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

A view from the top of the administration building of the wooden barracks used as a quarantine area, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

 

From the top of the administration one can gain a perspective on the enormity of the Birkenau concentration-death camp, Oświęcim, Poland; most of the 300 barracks and buildings on th

From the top of the administration one can gain a perspective on the enormity of the Birkenau concentration/death camp, Oświęcim, Poland; most of the 300 barracks and buildings on the vast site in the background were destroyed

 

Bunk beds inside one of the barracks, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

Bunk beds inside one of the barracks, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

 

The very long barracks buildings had no side windows (to prevent escapes) – the only light was provided during the day from the clerestory windows; Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

The very long barracks buildings had no side windows (to prevent escapes) – the only light was provided during the day from the clerestory windows; Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

 

A latrine building served many barrack buildings, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

A latrine building served many barrack buildings, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

 

A 1943 photograph by the SS of Crematorium III, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

A 1943 photograph by the SS of Gas Chamber and Crematorium III, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland (#11)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum, Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland (#11)

 

The ruins of Crematorium III at the western end of Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland; the Nazis destroyed the crematoria towards the end of World War II to “erase” the evidence of the d

The ruins of Gas Chamber and Crematorium III at the western end of Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland; the Nazis destroyed the crematoria towards the end of World War II to “erase” the evidence of the death camp’s true purpose

 

The English version of the memorial plaque on the steps of the International Monument (there are multiple plaques in various languages) at the west end of Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland,

The English version of the memorial plaque on the steps of the International Monument (there are multiple plaques in various languages) at the west end of Birkenau, Oświęcim, Poland, between Gas Chamber and Crematoria Buildings II and II where detainees (estimated to have been 95% Jewish) were gassed – located at the end of the mile-long railroad track into the concentration/death camp

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

The entrance to Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland, is marked by the infamous sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” ('Work Makes You Free'); note that the one photographed is a replica, as the origi

The entrance to Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland, is marked by the infamous sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” (‘Work Makes You Free’); note that the one photographed is a replica, as the original was stolen in 2009. The lie that detainees were entering a work camp was part of the Nazi deception hiding the fact that the site was the largest death camp in the history of the world.

 

 

ALWAYS REMEMBER

“For centuries the town of Oświęcim [about an one hour drive southwest of Kraków] was a quiet backwater community, largely bypassed by world events.  That changed with WWII when Oświęcim, known as ‘Auschwitz’ under German occupation, became the chosen site of the largest death camp in the Third Reich.  Between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people were exterminated here, etching the name of Auschwitz forever into the history books and countless films, documentaries, books and survivor accounts have since burned it into the collective consciousness.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

For many visitors to Kraków, the question they ask themselves is whether or not to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.  In designing our trip, we added Kraków (following visits to Budapest, Vienna and Prague) specifically in order to visit Auschwitz.  We wanted to pay our respects to several family members who perished at the site.  We also wanted a sense of completion in seeing in person the largest of the Nazi killing “factories”, having been “prepared” for our trip through years of visits to Holocaust museums around the world (particularly several visits to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel), extensive reading and watching a large number of television programs and movies, particularly Schindler’s List (directed by Steven Spielberg).

We were overwhelmed by the enormity of the site(s).  It’s one thing to read about several thousand people arriving by train daily (70% of whom were immediately murdered in the gas chambers), but until you walk among the brick buildings and, mostly in Birkenau, the empty fields where the wooden barracks buildings stood during World War II, the numbers are just that – numbers.  We had an excellent guide from the Auschwitz Museum (who now mostly trains teachers, including many from Israel) take us through the site and she explained in detail the operation of the death camp.  She, along with excellent museum (Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz – Birkenau) signage outside and inside the many buildings that are open to the public, really brought alive the day-to-day life in the camp for those who were not gassed on arrival.  One knows about the proclivity for “man to practice inhumanity on fellow man”.  What we were not prepared for was witnessing many sites where the Nazis (particularly the SS guards) were malevolent, brutal and sadistic to those who were not gassed to death immediately upon arrival at the camp.  For example, one building’s basement has about 21 brick-walled vertical cells measuring considerably less than two feet by two feet (0.6 m x 0.6 m) where detainees were given solitary confinement – the cells are so small (we entered one…) that an individual cannot squat nor sit down and there was no water nor toilet facilities.  We heard the story of one woman who was given three days and nights in a cell for catching one apple that was thrown over the camp’s barbed wire fence by someone from town.

“NEVER FORGET” is a very well-known expression that is particularly important now that there are few living survivors of the Nazi concentration and death camps and they are in their 80s and 90s – against a backdrop of some leaders and segments of the world’s population working to spread the lie that the Holocaust never happened.  While at Auschwitz, another visitor expressed a more powerful admonition, “ALWAYS REMEMBER”.  And with that, continue ensuring that the true story of the Nazi’s brutal genocide activities before and during World War II continue to be told, especially to children and young adults.

 

Some of the older, former brick barracks on the site that became Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland – established by the Nazis in 1941

Some of the older, former brick barracks on the site that became Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland – established by the Nazis in 1941

 

“[A] tour of Auschwitz I begins by passing beneath a replica of the infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (‘Work Makes You Free’) entrance gate.  [The original sign was actually made by inmates of the camp on Nazi orders and is no longer on display after it was stolen in December 2009 and found in pieces in northern Poland a few days after the theft.]  From the entrance gate, the prescribed tour route leads past the kitchens, where the camp orchestra once played as prisoners marched to work, before starting in earnest inside Block 4.  Here an overview of the creation and reality behind the world’s most notorious concentration camp is given, with exhibits including original architectural sketches for gas chambers, tins of Zyklon B used for extermination and mugshots of inmates.  Most disturbing is over seven tonnes of human hair once destined for German factories, which does much to demonstrate the scale and depravity of the Nazi death machine.

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#3)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#3)

 

As the Nazis expanded the initial site, wooden barracks (cheaper and faster to construct than brick buildings) were added, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

As the Nazis expanded the initial site, wooden barracks (cheaper and faster to construct than brick buildings) were added, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#5)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#5)

 

Luggage (emptied of personal effects that were sorted and “recycled” by the Nazis) from arriving detainees, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

Luggage (emptied of personal effects that were sorted and “recycled” by the Nazis) from arriving detainees, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

“Transported to Auschwitz in cattle trucks, newly arrived prisoners were stripped of their personal property, some of which is displayed in Block 5 including mountains of artificial limbs, glasses, labeled suitcases, shaving kits and, most affectingly, children’s shoes.  Block 6 examines the daily life of prisoners with collections of photographs, artists’ drawings and tools used for hard labour while the next set of barracks recreates the living conditions endured by prisoners: bare rooms with sackcloth spread out on the floor, and rows of communal latrines, one decorated with a poignant mural depicting two playful kittens.

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#7)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#7)

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#8)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#8)

 

If you remove the guard tower and the double barbed-wire fences, the scene could be a leafy college campus – giving no clue to the barbarity, brutality and death that was the “busine

If you remove the guard tower and the double barbed-wire fences, the scene could be a leafy college campus – giving no clue to the barbarity, brutality and death that was the “business” of the Nazis at Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

“Block 11, otherwise known as ‘The Death Block’, is arguably the most difficult part of the tour.  Outside, the ‘Wall of Death’ – against which thousands of prisoners were shot by the SS – has been turned into a memorial festooned with flowers; it was here that Pope Benedict XVI prayed during his ground-breaking visit in 2006.  Within the terrifying, claustrophobic cellars of Block 11 the Nazi’s conducted their experiments with poison gas in 1941 on Soviet prisoners.  Here the cell of Father Maksymilian Kolbe, the Polish priest starved to death after offering his life to save another inmate, is marked with a small memorial, and tiny ‘standing cells’ measuring 90 x 90 cm – where up to four prisoners were held for indefinite amounts of time – remain intact.

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#10)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#10)

 

Painting “Roll-call in 1941” done in 1972 by a Polish Auschwitz survivor Mieczysław Kościelniak, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

Painting “Roll-call in 1941” done in 1972 by a Polish Auschwitz survivor Mieczysław Kościelniak, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#12)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#12)

 

Construction drawings and model of gas chamber and crematorium II at Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

Construction drawings and model of gas chamber and crematorium II at Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

Used (empty) canisters of the poison gas, Zyklon B, that the Nazis dropped through holes in the roofs of crematoria (disguised as large community shower rooms), Auschwitz, Oświęcim,

Used (empty) canisters of the poison gas, Zyklon B, that the Nazis dropped through holes in the roofs of crematoria (disguised as large community shower rooms), Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#15)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#15)

 

A former munitions bunker that was reconstructed as a gas chamber and crematorium (used as such until 1943), Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

A former munitions bunker that was reconstructed as a gas chamber and crematorium (used as such until 1943), Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

“The remaining blocks are dedicated to the specific suffering of individual nations, including a block dedicated in memory of the Roma (gypsy) people who perished. The tour concludes with the gruesome gas chamber and crematoria, whose two furnaces were capable of burning 350 corpses daily. The gallows used to hang camp commandant Rudolf Hoss in 1947 stands outside.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

“HALT!”, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

“HALT!”, Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland

 

A corner view of the barbed-wire protected barracks at Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland, as seen from outside (near the location of the crematorium in the photo above)

A corner view of the barbed-wire protected barracks at Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland, as seen from outside (near the location of the crematorium in the photo above)

 

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#19)

Text on sign from Auschwitz Museum; Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland (#19)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

The entrance to Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland, established in 2010 with chefs specializing in Polish cuisine and a very helpful staff

The entrance to Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland, established in 2010 with chefs specializing in Polish cuisine and a very helpful staff

 

When a good friend from Romania heard that we would be visiting Krakow, he highly recommended that while in Kazimierz (the Jewish District) we eat at one of his favorite Polish restaurants, Restauracja Sasiedzi.  It turned out to be in the heart of Kazimierz, near some of the synagogues and other sights we visited.  The restaurant was established in 2010 with chefs specializing in Polish cuisine.  The staff was very professional and our waiter, speaking good English, was quite helpful navigating the menu of local favorites.  While we tried several local specialties, we did pass on the “Sirloin steak of horse with mashed potatoes and salad with cherry tomatoes”.  The restaurant is recommended by the Michelin Guide. We had a delicious lunch there.

 

The Michelin guide reviewer summed things up pretty well for Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

The Michelin guide reviewer summed things up pretty well for Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

 

Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland, has indoor dining rooms, a covered patio (where we dined) and tables on the terrace which would be terrific in good weather

Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland, has indoor dining rooms, a covered patio (where we dined) and tables on the terrace which would be terrific in good weather

 

Our pierogi starter was described (in English) on the menu as “Dumplings like at grandma_s (three types of dumplings, 6 pieces) – they were quite good; Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimi

Our pierogi starter was described (in English) on the menu as “Dumplings like at grandma’s (three types of dumplings, 6 pieces) – they were quite good; Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland; [Pierogi – Polish dumplings — also known as varenyky, are filled dumplings of Eastern European origin made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water]

For a main dish we enjoyed “Duck [confit] with apples, Old Polish style with pearl barley [kasha] and cabbage czerwony (red cabbage salad, not pictured)”; Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazim

For a main dish we enjoyed “Duck [confit] with apples, Old Polish style with pearl barley [kasha] and cabbage czerwony (red cabbage salad, not pictured)”; Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

For our other main dish we had a local specialty, Placki po Cyygańsku (Gypsy style potato pancakes – on the bottom, not visible – with beef goulash and sour cream and onions); Rest

For our other main dish we had a local specialty, Placki po Cyygańsku (Gypsy style potato pancakes – on the bottom, not visible – with beef goulash and sour cream and onions); Restauracja Sasiedzi, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Podgórze (Kraków Ghetto) and Kazimierz (The Former Jewish District) , Kraków, Poland

These apartment buildings in Podgórze (Kraków Ghetto) are little changed in appearance from the time of the Nazi German occupation during World War II before the Ghetto was liquidate

These apartment buildings in Podgórze (Kraków Ghetto) are little changed in appearance from the time of the Nazi German occupation during World War II before the Ghetto was liquidated on March 14, 1943 when the majority of the residents were murdered there, while others met death in the nearby Liban quarry and Płaszów concentration camp, or in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bełżec; Kraków, Poland

 

“On March 21, 1941, the entire Jewish population residing in Kazimierz [a district of Kraków, Poland] were marched across the Silesian Uprisings Bridge [over the Wisla River] and crammed into what was to become known as the Podgórze Ghetto. Traces of the Ghetto still exist, including a prominent stretch of the wall on ul. Lwowska. Liquidated on March 14, 1943, the majority of the Ghetto’s residents were murdered there, while others met death in the nearbyLiban quarry and Płaszów concentration camp, or in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bełżec…. When Spielberg came to Kraków to produce his award-winning film Schindler’s List, the result was a fast and far-reaching revitalisation of Kazimierz, Kraków’s former Jewish district. Ironically, however, it didn’t reach across the river to Podgórze, despite the fact most of the film’s historic events took place there, as did much of the filming. As Kazimierz became super-saturated with tourists and bars, predictions were that Podgórze would emerge as Kraków’s next hip bohemian district; however aside from a small stable of rogue cafes, things were slow to develop and for a long time getting off the beaten path in Kraków was as easy as crossing the river to Podgórze…. The opening of the Schindler’s Factory Museum in 2010 not only did much towards helping the city bury the ghosts of the Holocaust, but it also established Podgórze as a bona fide tourist destination… Since the opening of Schindler’s Factory as a major attraction and the construction of the Bernatek footbridge creating a direct artery of tourist traffic into the district, that has begun to change, but Podgórze remains Kraków’s most mysterious and underappreciated neighbourhood.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square, formerly 'Plac Zgody'), the largest open space in the Kraków Ghetto [Polish- Podgórze], was renovated in 2005, sparking significant cont

Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square, formerly ‘Plac Zgody’), the largest open space in the Kraków Ghetto [Polish: Podgórze], was renovated in 2005, sparking significant controversy over the design – it is laid out with 70 large well-spaced metal chairs meant to symbolize departure, as well as subsequent absence (becoming a memorial to the victims of the Kraków Ghetto), Poland

“Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square, formerly ‘Plac Zgody’) was first plotted out in 1836 in Kraków, Poland. During the time of the Kraków Ghetto it was at once the source of the residents’ greatest relief and also the scene of their greatest horrors and humiliation. As the ghetto’s largest open space, Plac Zgody was a place for people to socialise, relax and escape the oppressive overcrowding of the tenements. It was also the site of families being torn apart, mass deportations to the death camps, beatings and executions. Finally, after decades of neglect, Plac Bohaterów Getta was renovated in 2005, sparking significant controversy over the design. Laid out with 70 large well-spaced metal chairs meant to symbolize departure, as well as subsequent absence, the entire square has essentially been turned into an odd, but iconic memorial to the victims of the Kraków Ghetto.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

Tadeusz Pankiewicz_s pharmacy was situated on Plac Zgody – now called Ghetto Heroes Square -- in Kraków's Podgórze district (Kraków Ghetto), Poland; Tadeusz Pankiewicz was reco

Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s pharmacy was situated on Plac Zgody – now called Ghetto Heroes Square — in Kraków’s Podgórze district (Kraków Ghetto), Poland; Tadeusz Pankiewicz was recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem on February 10, 1983, for rescuing countless Jews from the Holocasut

 

“Tadeusz Pankiewicz (November 21, 1908 – November 5, 1993 buried in Kraków), was a Polish Roman Catholic pharmacist, operating in the Kraków Ghetto during the Nazi German occupation of Poland. He was recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem on February 10, 1983, for rescuing countless Jews from the Holocasut… Under German Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II, Podgórze district was closed off in March 1941 as a ghetto for local area Jewry. Within the walls of the Kraków Ghetto there were four prewar pharmacies owned by non-Jews. Pankiewicz was the only proprietor to decline the German offer of relocating to the gentile (non-Jewish) side of the city. He was given permission to continue operating his establishment as the only pharmacy in the Ghetto, and reside on the premises. His staff were given passage permits to enter and exit the ghetto for work. The often-scarce medications and pharmaceutical products supplied to the ghetto’s residents, often free of charge, substantially improved their quality of life. In effect, apart from health care considerations, they contributed to survival itself. In his published testimonies, Pankiewicz makes particular mention of hair dyes used by those disguising their identities and tranquilizers given to fretful children required to keep silent during Gestapo raids. The pharmacy became a meeting place for the ghetto’s intelligentsia, and a hub of underground activity. Pankiewicz and his staff, Irena Drozdzikowska, Helena Krywaniuk, and Aurelia Danek, risked their lives to undertake numerous clandestine operations: smuggling food and information, and offering shelter on the premises for Jews facing deportation to the camps… In April 1983, the “Pod Orlem” pharmacy, located at No.18 Plac Bohaterów Ghetta (Ghetto Heroes Plaza, renamed), opened its doors as the Museum of National Remembrance, featuring the history of Kraków Jewry with special focus on the ghetto period. In 2003, it became affiliated with the municipal Historical Museum of Kraków. The wartime activities of Pankiewicz and his staff are featured in an exhibition on the history of the Jewish ghetto in Kraków. The pharmacy was featured in the Academy Award-winning film, Schindler’s List. The film’s director Steven Spielberg donated $40,000 for the building’s preservation, for which he was honored by the city of Kraków with its prestigious “Patron of Culture” award for the year 2004.” — Wikipedia

 

The Bima (with decorative doors) and the Torah Ark (Aron Hakodesh) in the restored Remuh Synagogue, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland; dating from 1553, it is Kraków's smal

The Bima (with decorative doors) and the Torah Ark (Aron Hakodesh) in the restored Remuh Synagogue, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland; dating from 1553, it is Kraków’s smallest but most active synagogue, with Shabbat services once again taking place here each Friday following the recent completion of restoration works

 

“Kazimierz – the district south of the Old Town between the Wisła River and ul. Dietla (where a tributary of the Wisła once flowed) was the center of Jewish life in Kraków for over 500 years, before it was systematically destroyed during World War II. Neglected during the communist era, Kazimierz became one of Kraków’s dodgiest districts before its rediscovery in the 1990s, thanks to the fall of the regime and worldwide exposure through the lens of Steven Spielberg, Kazimierz has since rebounded and is today arguably Kraków’s most exciting district – a bustling, bohemian neighbourhood packed with historical sites, atmospheric cafes and art galleries. Traces of Kazimierz’s Jewish history have not only survived, but literally abound in the form of the district’s numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. In fact, no other place in Europe conveys a sense of pre-war Jewish culture on the continent better than Kazimierz. As a result, the district has become a major tourist draw and pilgrimage site for Jews, which has led to the return of contemporary Jewish culture in the area. Each summer since 1988 the massively popular Jewish Culture Festival has filled Kazimierz’s streets and cafes with music, while educating Kraków’s residents and guests about the city’s pre-war Jewish history and celebrating modern Jewish culture. The fact that it’s one of the year’s biggest parties proves that there’s more to Kazimierz than sepia photographs and old synagogues. Here – behind the shutters of dozens of antique shops and art galleries, and in the obscure courtyards cafes and shadowy bars centered around the former Jewish square known today as Plac Nowy — you’ll find a prevalent pre-war timelessness, and the heart of Krakow’s artistic, bohemian character.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow 

“Dating from 1553, Remuh Synagogue & Cemetery (Synagoga Remuh z Cmentarzem) is Kraków’s smallest but most active synagogue, with Shabbat services once again taking place here each Friday following the recent completion of restoration works. The synagogue was established by the family of famous 16th century Polish rabbi Moses Isserles – better known as ‘the Rema,’ based on a Hebrew acronym, and is unique for the proximity of the Old Jewish Cemetery adjacent to it. In use until 1800, this holy burial ground fell into utter ruin during Nazi occupation with only a dozen tombstones surviving WWII in their original state; among them was that of Rabbi Moses Isserles, which many interpreted as proof of his miraculous power. After the war the cemetery was ‘tidied up’ with many of the intact tombstones being rearranged in straight rows, and fragments of those which could not be restored used to create a ‘wailing wall’ along ulica Szeroka. Today the cemetery and synagogue – whose modestly decorated interior features a reconstructed bimah and restored ceiling motifs – are an important pilgrimage site for devout Jews from all over the world.”www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

A close up of the Torah Ark in Remuh Synagogue, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

A close up of the Torah Ark in Remuh Synagogue, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

 

Until 1800 the Old Jewish Cemetery (to which Remuh Synagogue is adjacent) fell into utter ruin during German Nazi occupation with only a dozen tombstones surviving WWII in their original

Until 1800 the Old Jewish Cemetery (to which Remuh Synagogue is adjacent) fell into utter ruin during German Nazi occupation with only a dozen tombstones surviving WWII in their original state, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

 

A mural outside the Popper Synagogue in Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland, created by Arthur Szyk (June 16, 1894 in Łodź, Poland – September 13, 1951, Canaan, CT, USA),

A mural outside the Popper Synagogue in Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland, created by Arthur Szyk (June 16, 1894 in Łodź, Poland – September 13, 1951, Canaan, CT, USA), a Pole and a Jew who worked as an artist and (book) illustrator in Poland, France, Britain and the United States; he is best known for The Szyk Haggadah and his propaganda against Hitler

 

“In addition to the Remuh and Old Synagogues, there’s also a third synagogue on ulica Szeroka: that’s the Popper Synagogue, tucked behind a gated courtyard and nestled between the street’s Jewish restaurants. Built in 1620 by wealthy Jewish merchant Wolf Popper, the building was devastated during WWII such that none of its interiors survived; in fact little is known of them. Converted into a cultural centre (Dom Kultury) during the PRL era, the synagogue was only recently returned to the hands of the Jewish community and is now under the stewardship of Austeria — a publishing house and bookshop specializing in Judaica (literature, history and guide books in a number of languages). A colourful Jewish-themed mural can be found in the courtyard here [by the well known Polish artist, Arthur Szyk]. — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel) is Kazimierz's newest synagogue, dating back to 1862, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel) is Kazimierz’s newest synagogue, dating back to 1862, Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

 

“Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel) is Kazimierz’s newest synagogue, dating back to 1862, with several later expansions, the most recent of which was in 1924. Under Nazi occupation the building was used as a warehouse and stables, yet survived the war and regular services were even held here until 1968, before stopping completely a decade later. Since restoration, the gilded woodwork within now plays host to many concerts and occasional religious ceremonies, particularly during the annual Jewish Festival of Culture each summer.” — www.inyourpocket.com/krakow

 

A close-up of the Torah Ark in Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel), Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

A close-up of the Torah Ark in Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel), Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

 

Since restoration, the gilded woodwork within Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel), now plays host to many concerts and occasional religious ceremonies, particularly during the annual Jewi

Since restoration, the gilded woodwork within Temple Synagogue (Synagoga Tempel), now plays host to many concerts and occasional religious ceremonies, particularly during the annual Jewish Festival of Culture each summer; Kazimierz (Jewish District), Kraków, Poland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Kraków, Poland

The Battle of Grunwald, fought between the joint armies of Poland and Lithuania against the Teutonic Knights on July 15, 1410, is considered to be one of the greatest battles ever to tak

The Battle of Grunwald, fought between the joint armies of Poland and Lithuania against the Teutonic Knights on July 15, 1410, is considered to be one of the greatest battles ever to take place in medieval Europe. A defining moment in Polish history, the battle was immortalized with the unveiling of this weighty monument in front of an estimated 160,000 people on the 500th anniversary of the event in 1910 – the present monument is a copy dating from 1976, after the Nazis destroyed the original during World War II; Kraków, Poland

 

Kraków, a southern Poland city near the border of the Czech Republic, is the second largest (population 766,000) and one of the oldest cities in Poland and is known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter.  Its old town – ringed by Planty Park and remnants of the city’s medieval walls – is centered on the stately, expansive Rynek Glówny (Main Market Square).  This plaza is the site of the Cloth Hall, a Renaissance-era trading outpost, and St. Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church.  The Historic Center of Kraków is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

This monument pays homage to one of Poland's greatest painters, Jan Matejko, and one of Kraków's most beloved sons who was famous for his epic and outsized historical paintings

This monument pays homage to one of Poland’s greatest painters, Jan Matejko, and one of Kraków’s most beloved sons who was famous for his epic and outsized historical paintings, which have been reproduced enough to become imprinted within the national psyche; it was unveiled in November 2013 — not only the 175th anniversary of Jan Matejko’s birth in Kraków, but also the 120th anniversary of his death here

 

The Florińska Gate, built in 1307, is one of the eight original gates to the city of Kraków, Poland, and leads into the north side of Main Market Square [Polish- Rynek Glówny]

The Florińska Gate, built in 1307, is one of the eight original gates to the city of Kraków, Poland, and leads into the north side of Main Market Square [Polish: Rynek Glówny]

The coat of arms of Kraków, Poland, carved above the entrance to the city at the Florińska Gate

The coat of arms of Kraków, Poland, carved above the entrance to the city at the Florińska Gate

 

“[Kraków] rose to prominence in 1364, when Casimir III of Poland founded the University of Kraków, the second oldest university in central Europe after the Charles University in Prague.  King Casimir [Polish: Kazimierz] also began work on a campus for the Academy in Kazimierz [two western suburbs of Krakow named after the king], but he died in 1370 and the campus was never completed.  The city continued to grow under the joint Lithuanian-Polish Jagiellon dynasty.  As the capital of the Kingdom of Poland and a member of the Hanseatic League, the city attracted many craftsmen, businesses, and guilds as science and the arts began to flourish.  The royal chancery and the University ensured a first flourishing of Polish literary culture in the city.  The 15th and 16th centuries were known as Poland’s Złoty Wiek or Golden Age.  Many works of Polish Renaissance art and architecture were created, including ancient synagogues in Kraków’s Jewish quarter located in the north-eastern part of Kazimierz, such as the Old Synagogue.  During the reign of Casimir IV, various artists came to work and live in Kraków, and Johann Haller established a printing press in the city…  In 1495, King John I Albert expelled the Jews from the city walls of Kraków; they moved to Kazimierz (now a district of Kraków).  However, they were still allowed to trade on the Main Square.” — Wikipedia

 

St. Mary_s Basilica, or Mariacka Cathedral, was rebuilt (as photographed) in the Gothic style in 1320 on the site of the original church that was destroyed in Tartar raids, Kraków, P

St. Mary’s Basilica, or Mariacka Cathedral, was rebuilt (as photographed) in the Gothic style in 1320 on the site of the original church that was destroyed in Tartar raids, Kraków, Poland; it is regarded as one of the most dazzling cathedrals in Poland, located on the Main Market Square [Polish: Rynek Glówny]

Horse-drawn carriages are very popular with tourists throughout the city – here they are lined up outside the Main Market Square [Polish- Rynek Glówny], Kraków, Poland

Horse-drawn carriages are very popular with tourists throughout the city – here they are lined up outside the Main Market Square [Polish: Rynek Glówny], Kraków, Poland

Shopping off the Main Market Square with the church spires of St. Mary_s Basilica in the background, Kraków, Poland

Shopping off the Main Market Square with the church spires of St. Mary’s Basilica in the background, Kraków, Poland

 

The Bełzowska House [Polish- Kamienica Bełzowska], now a well-regarded restaurant, was built in the 15th century with the 3rd floor and façade added in 1833, Kraków, Poland

The Bełzowska House [Polish: Kamienica Bełzowska], now a well-regarded restaurant, was built in the 15th century with the 3rd floor and façade added in 1833, Kraków, Poland; Lwowska Patisserie, later Michalik’s Den, has operated on the ground floor since 1895 – it was here that Mloda Polska (Poland’s Art Noveau movement) was founded, with many of the leading artists taking libations here, and then tacking their art on the walls

On Ul. Kanonicza, paved with cobblestones and one of Kraków_s oldest streets, at number 19 is the Archdiocesan Museum where Father (later, Cardinal) Karol Wojtyla lived on two separa

On Ul. Kanonicza, paved with cobblestones and one of Kraków’s oldest streets, at number 19 is the Archdiocesan Museum where Father (later, Cardinal) Karol Wojtyla lived on two separate occasions before becoming Pope John Paul II

 

Also on Ul. Kanonicza, across the street from the Archdiocesan Museum, is the Copernicus Hotel where we stayed during our visit to Kraków, Poland; the hotel owes its name to the famou

Also on Ul. Kanonicza, across the street from the Archdiocesan Museum, is the Copernicus Hotel where we stayed during our visit to Kraków, Poland; the hotel owes its name to the famous Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus, who was one of the guests of the house who also must have admired the precious polychrome paintings and inscriptions dating from 1500 in the upstairs master suite

 

The interior courtyard of Collegium Maius, the oldest building of Jagiellonian University, which is, in turn, the second oldest university in Central Europe

The interior courtyard of Collegium Maius, the oldest building of Jagiellonian University, which is, in turn, the second oldest university in Central Europe; while professors lived and worked upstairs, it was on the ground floor lecture halls that Nicolaus Copernicus made doodles in the margins of his notebooks in the 1490s; Kraków, Poland

 

The entrance to Wawel Castle, perched on its eponymous hill immediately south of Old Town, Kraków, Poland; the castle is a gorgeous assortment of predominantly Romanesque, Renaissance

The entrance to Wawel Castle, perched on its eponymous hill immediately south of Old Town, Kraków, Poland; the castle is a gorgeous assortment of predominantly Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture that is the most important collection of buildings in the country and is a uniquely Polish version of the British Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey rolled into one

 

A procession preparing to march into Wawel Castle Cathedral, considered the most important building in Poland (which was closed to the public during our visit); Kraków

A procession preparing to march into Wawel Castle Cathedral, considered the most important building in Poland (which was closed to the public during our visit); Kraków

 

Two domes of Wawel Castle Cathedral which was consecrated in 1364 and built on the orders of Poland_s first king to be crowned at Wawel Castle, Wladyslaw the Short (a.k.a. Wladyslaw th

Two domes of Wawel Castle Cathedral which was consecrated in 1364 and built on the orders of Poland’s first king to be crowned at Wawel Castle, Wladyslaw the Short (a.k.a. Wladyslaw the Elbow-high, 1306-1333), Kraków, Poland

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Walking Prague, Czech Republic

Nicely restored apartment buildings (with retail on the first floor) in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic

Nicely restored apartment buildings (with retail on the first floor) in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic

 

We spent the better part of our three days in Prague, Czech Republic, walking around the city.  Staying near the Charles Bridge in the center of the city, adjacent to Old Town, we even found that we could walk to dinner each night – a kilometer or two (0.6 to 1.2 miles) away from the hotel.  This blog features photographs from our walks illustrating various parts of town and some interesting “sights”.

 

Statue of Franz Kafka, the German-speaking Prague-native Bohemian Jewish novelist and short story writer (known for exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt and absurdi

Statue of Franz Kafka, the German-speaking Prague-native Bohemian Jewish novelist and short story writer (known for exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt and absurdity), found in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic

 

Classic late-19th century architecture typical of many public buildings in Prague, Czech Republic

Classic late-19th century architecture typical of many public buildings in Prague, Czech Republic

 

Window “support” statuary, found near Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

Window “support” statuary, found near Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The magnificent art-nouveau Municipal House features a mosaic above the entrance, Homage to Prague, that is set between sculptures representing the oppression and rebirth of the Czech pe

The magnificent art-nouveau Municipal House features a mosaic above the entrance, Homage to Prague, that is set between sculptures representing the oppression and rebirth of the Czech people; Prague, Czech Republic

 

“Restored in the 1990s after decades of neglect, Prague’s most exuberantly art-nouveau building is a labour of love, every detail of its design and decoration carefully considered, every painting and sculpture loaded with symbolism.  The restaurant and cafe here are like walk-in museums of art-nouveau design, while upstairs there are half a dozen sumptuously decorated halls that you can visit by guided tour.  The Municipal House stands on the site of the Royal Court, seat of Bohemia’s kings from 1383 to 1483 (when Vladislav II moved to Prague Castle), which was demolished at the end of the 19th century.  Between 1906 and 1912 this magnificent art-nouveau edifice was built in its place – a lavish joint effort by around 30 leading artists of the day, creating a cultural centre that was the architectural climax of the Czech National Revival.  The mosaic above the entrance, Homage to Prague, is set between sculptures representing the oppression and rebirth of the Czech people; other sculptures ranged along the top of the facade represent history, literature, painting, music and architecture.  You pass beneath a wrought-iron and stained-glass canopy into an interior that is art nouveau down to the doorknobs…  Smetna Hall [is] Prague’s biggest concert hall, with seating for 1200 beneath an art-nouveau glass dome. The stage is framed by sculptures representing the Vyšehrad legend (to the right) and Slavonic dances (to the left).  On 28 October 1918 an independent Czechoslovak Republic was declared in Smetana Hall, and in November 1989 meetings took place here between the Civic Forum and the Jakeš regime.  The Prague Spring (Pražské jaro) music festival always opens on 12 May, the anniversary of Smetana’s death, with a procession from Vyšehrad to the Municipal House followed by a gala performance of his symphonic cycle Má vlast (My Country) in Smetana Hall.” – www.lonelyplanet.com

 

The wrought iron and stained-glass canopy entrance to the art-nouveau Municipal House, Prague, Czech Republic

The wrought iron and stained-glass canopy entrance to the art-nouveau Municipal House, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Restored in the 1990s after decades of neglect, Prague_s most exuberantly art-nouveau building, the Municipal House is a labor of love, Prague, Czech Republic; photographed here is the

Restored in the 1990s after decades of neglect, Prague’s most exuberantly art-nouveau building, the Municipal House is a labor of love, Prague, Czech Republic; photographed here is the ground floor restaurant

 

The café of the Municipal House is like a walk-in museum of art-nouveau design, Prague, Czech Republic

The café of the Municipal House is like a walk-in museum of art-nouveau design, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An archway near the Old Town Square is decorated with statues and an historical marker, Prague, Czech Republic

An archway near the Old Town Square is decorated with statues and an historical marker, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The first edible cannabis ice cream that we had seen, Prague, Czech Republic

The first edible cannabis ice cream that we had seen, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Nearly all the sidewalks in the historic districts (and many of the streets) are paved in cobblestones, constructed by hand in the traditional way (stones laid in sand), Prague, Czech Re

Nearly all the sidewalks in the historic districts (and many of the streets) are paved in cobblestones, constructed by hand in the traditional way (stones laid in sand), Prague, Czech Republic

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

The Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

The Spanish Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic, with its Moorish design, is known as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe

The Spanish Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, Czech Republic, with its Moorish design, is known as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe

 

We were stunned by the beauty of the restored Spanish Synagogue in Prague, Czech Republic.  It is known as the most beautiful synagogue in Europe, and it’s easy to see why.  Built in 1868, it is designed in the Moorish style, reminding us of many buildings seen on our month earlier trip to Morocco and the incomparable Alhambra in Grenada, Spain, which represents the height of Moorish architecture and design.  “Under both Nazi and Communist rule the Spanish Synagogue was neglected, fell into a sorry state, and was eventually closed. But in the latter part of the 20th century the Jewish Museum in Prague took control, and began work on its restoration.  The Spanish Synagogue re-opened on the 130th anniversary of its establishment.  This magnificent building now forms part of the Jewish Museum in Prague, so can be visited during the day.  While early evening it becomes a wonderful setting for classical concerts.” — www.pragueexperience.com

We were fortunate to be able to purchase same day tickets to a wonderful classical concert (a string quartet and a soprano) held at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Spanish Synagogue that was delightful.  We were very glad that we were able to return in the evening for the concert and experience some of the secular Czech culture in such a beautiful setting.  Over dinner that night we reflected on the events that the Synagogue had “witnessed” and withstood and hosted over the past 150 years.

 

The interior of the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic, reflects many design elements that appear to have been influenced by Moorish designs, in particular, the Alhambra palace of

The interior of the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic, reflects many design elements that appear to have been influenced by Moorish designs, in particular, the Alhambra palace of Grenada, Spain

 

“The stunning Spanish Synagogue [Czech: Španēlská Synagoga] was built in 1868 over the site of the Old School (Alt Schul) Synagogue.  Before it was torn down in 1867, the Old Schul had been the oldest synagogue standing in the Prague and marked the true beginning of the Jewish Quarter.  There had been Jewish people living on both sides of the Vltava River in Prague since 970 with most living below Prague Castle.  After being decimated by members of the 1st Crusade in 1096 and again during the Siege of Prague Castle in 1142 (in which their first synagogue was burned) the remaining Jewish residents congregated here.  The Old Schul was built as their new place of worship and the new Jewish Quarter built up between it and the right bank of the river.

“Replacing the Old Schul, the design of the Spanish Synagogue was inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.  Most of Spain was controlled by Islamic groups including the Moors from 711 to 1492 who not only had iconic architecture but were also fairly tolerant to their Jewish population.  After Spain’s Jews were expelled during the Inquisition they kept Moorish elements in some of their future buildings around Europe.  From curved entryways, geometric patterns, and colorful trim, the architecture at the Spanish Synagogue reminds us of some of the wonderful synagogues we’ve visited in Budapest.

“Today the Spanish Synagogue is part of Prague’s Jewish Museum celebrating Jewish heritage from the late-1800s to 1945 in Bohemia and Moravia.  On the upper floor of the Synagogue, we love the huge collection of historic photos and maps of the Jewish Quarter from 1900-1906.  The upstairs also has a full treasury of over 200 silver artifacts on display which had been taken from decimated Jewish homes in the Czech countryside.  The exhibits here are carried over from the Maisel Synagogue which covers local Jewish heritage from the late-900s to 1800 AD.” — www.bigboytravel.com/czechrepublic/prague/jewish-quarter-walking-tour

 

A close up of the Torah Ark in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

A close up of the Torah Ark in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The stained glass window above the Torah Ark in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

The stained glass window above the Torah Ark in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The organ and decorative design elements in the mezzanine of the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

The organ and decorative design elements in the mezzanine of the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A stained glass window in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic; signed Gewidmet von Gerstz 5648 (the Jewish calendar year 5648 equals 1888 A.D.)

A stained glass window in the Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic; signed Gewidmet von Gerstz 5648 (the Jewish calendar year 5648 equals 1888 A.D.)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.