About the Museum

The KL Plaszow Memorial Museum in Kraków, which is dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Plazow German Nazi Labour Camp and Concentration Camp (1942–1945), started  its operations on 1st January 2021 in line with a resolution adopted by the Kraków City Council. It is managed by the Kraków Museum.

The KL Plaszow Museum is established to preserve and manage the area of the former German Nazi concentration camp in Plaszow, operated in 1942–1945. According to estimates, about 35 thousand prisoners were detained in the camp: Jews, Poles and other nationals. 5–6 thousand people were killed in the camp.

The Museum performs research and educational tasks aimed to commemorate the history of KL Plaszow and its victims. The institution manages the former camp area entered in the list of protected heritage monuments, and an historical building known as the Grey House. A plot of land adjacent to the former camp area is designated for the Memorial construction. Both the Grey House and the Memorial will host permanent exhibitions illustrating the history of the camp.

The opening of permanent exhibitions arranged by the KL Plaszow Museum is scheduled for late 2025.




Capital expenditures
  • In what period were the labour camp and concentration camp operated?
    The forced labour camp for the Kraków Jews was established in the autumn of 1942 and was transformed into a concentration camp on 10 January 1944. The last group of prisoners (about 600 people) left KL Plaszow on 14 January 1945.
  • How many people died in the camp?
    The camp archive was destroyed, and the number of people who were killed or died in the KL Plaszow can only be estimated. Based on the available historical sources, it is estimated that the camp area may contain remains of five to six thousand people killed during the war, including the prisoners of the camp, the victims of executions carried out by the Gestapo, and of the ghetto liquidation operation in 1943.
  • How many prisoners were detained in the Plaszow camp?
    About 30–35 thousand people were imprisoned in the camp during its operation period.
  • Where did the prisoners come from and what were their nationalities?
    The camp was originally organized for Jews coming from the demolished Kraków ghetto. The largest group of prisoners included Jews coming from the General Government, principally from the ghettos established in Kraków and its environs. As well as Jews, Poles were also imprisoned in the camp: citizens of Kraków and neighbouring townships who were suspected of being involved in the resistance movement. Also Romani families were imprisoned here. Additionally, KL Plaszow was used as a transit camp. It received transports from other camps in the Kraków, Lublin and Radom districts; Jews from Hungary were also transferred here to be finally directed to KL Auschwitz.
  • What was the subcamp for Poles?
    In July 1943, a separate unit was established in the Plaszow forced labour camp, known as the educational labour camp for Poles. People accused of participating in the resistance movement, of administrative and trivial offences, and victims of military actions in villages near Kraków were imprisoned there. The educational labour camp was included in KL Plaszow in January 1944. The period of imprisonment (three to six months) was frequently extended. The number of prisoners is estimated at hundreds to 3 thousand people.
  • Did other people than prisoners stay in the camp?
    People who were not formally classified as prisoners were also put in the camp. In 1944, thousands of men were detained in KL Plaszow, following a preventive arrest operation conducted on 6 August in Kraków, and provoked by the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising (‘Black Sunday’). Additionally, German police formations used the camp area to execute people put in Kraków prisons, principally the jail in Montelupich Street.
  • What jobs did prisoners do in and outside the camp?
    The prisoners of KL Plaszow constructed and extended the camp, demolished and levelled the Jewish cemeteries then occupied by the camp, were seconded to work in two quarries operated by the camp, erected new structures (blocks, barracks, the bakery), and dug fire ponds. Until September 1943 the prisoners also worked in enterprises and factories located outside the camp. Some of them were put in subcamps established near those enterprises (e.g. at Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory or the Kraków Cable Factory). The prisoners also worked in shoemaker, knitting, metalwork, clockmaker, paper-making, brush-making and printer workshops, and in Julius Madritsch’s sewing factory.
  • Where did mass executions take place in the camp area?
    Mass executions were carried out at three locations in the camp area: at the northern border of the old Jewish cemetery (known as ‘bagier’, referring to the excavator operated there) and in ramparts FS-21 (the H-Hill, where a cross is erected) and FS-22 (the C-Pit, with the Nazi Victim Memorial). The name H-Hill, i.e. Hujowa (Prick) Hill, comes from the surname of SS member Albert Hujer who frequently directed executions in the camp. The name C-Pit, i.e. Cipowy (Cunt) Pit, was coined by the prisoners by analogy.
  • Who were the victims of executions in the camp?
    The prisoners of the camp and people transported by the Gestapo for execution (principally political prisoners, Jews who hid their identity under ‘Aryan’ documents, victims of military raids in townships near Kraków) were killed in KL Plaszow. In March 1943, Jews from the Kraków Ghetto were also shot – mainly elderly people who were incapable of taking on hard work.
  • Where were the prisoners transferred from the camp in the period of its operation and when it was liquidated?
    The prisoners of the labour camp were transferred in 1943 to camps located at large factories, e.g. in Pionki, Skarżysko-Kamienna, and Częstochowa. The liquidation process of KL Plaszow began in the summer of  1944, and its prisoners were transported to other concentration camps: KL Auschwitz, KL Mauthausen, KL Gross-Rosen and its subcamp in Brünnlitz, KL Ravensbrück, KL Flossenbürg and KL Buchenwald.
  • Were members of camp staff tried for their crimes after the war?
    Two major trials took place after the war to judge the officers managing KL Plaszow: the trial of commandant Amon Göth, sentenced to death (the execution was carried out on 13 September 1946), and the trial of eighteen members of camp staff, finalized on 21 January 1948 by death sentences for Lorenz Landsdorfer, Ferdinand Glaser, Edmund Zdrojewski and Arnold Büscher, and long imprisonment sentences for twelve former SS members. One of the remaining two SS members died before the trial ended; the other was acquitted. Some staff members were also summoned before Polish, German and Austrian courts in the following years.
  • What was the structure of the camp?
    The camp was divided into three sectors:

    – the prisoners’ sector: residential barracks (separate for men and women), pit latrines, hospital and supplies buildings (a kitchen, foodstuff warehouses, a bakery), and a quarantine zone;

    – administration buildings, designed for camp personnel: barracks, the commandant office, blocks, garages, a warehouse for confiscated property and the houses of SS officers;

    – an industrial sector, consisting of workshops in which the prisoners were forced to work.
  • Where can I find archive materials concerning the history of the camp?
    Accounts and documents concerning KL Plaszow are included principally in the collections of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, the Institute of National Remembrance, the Yad Vashem Archive in Jerusalem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles. The Kraków Museum launched the KL Plaszow Digital Archive (www.ca.muzeumkrakowa.pl) in December 2019, which will finally provide a complete library of information about the camp.
  • What was located in the camp area before 1942?
    Before the camp was established, there were two ramparts and powder magazines of the Austrian Kraków fortress constructed in the 19th century, and two Jewish cemeteries (founded by the Podgórze community in 1887 and by the Kraków community in 1932) with funeral homes and administration buildings. There was also a sanatorium for children exposed to the risk of developing tuberculosis, managed by the Jewish Society for Health Protection in Kraków. Private houses stood at the sites of the present Heltmana, Jerozolimska and Wielicka Streets.
  • What area was occupied by the camp and where was it's borderline?
    The camp occupied an area of about 0.8 sq. km in mid-1944. Its boundary extended from the main gate at Jerozolimska Street, along Wielicka Street to present Kamieńskiego Street (including the houses in Pańska Street). Then, the camp fence was erected along Kamieńskiego Street, over the ridge of Bonarka quarry, along Swoszowicka Street and the present access road to the Krzemionki reservoir managed by the Municipal Waterworks and Sewerage Company, and farther along a road extension to the municipal lime kiln.
  • About the KL Plaszow Museum
    The establishment of the KL Plaszow Museum is a project supported by Kraków City and the government of Poland. The Museum preserves the memory of thousands of victims persecuted and killed in the former German Nazi camp KL Plaszow. Establishing an institutional manager, organizing the area, constructing an exhibition building − the Memorial − all these goals come from the need to respectfully commemorate the tragic history of this site and broaden knowledge of the German Nazi concentration and forced labour camp operated in Kraków during World War II.

    The establishment of the Museum and the KL Plaszow Memorial Site in Kraków to remember the German Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp (1942–1945) (in progress) provides a response to appeals to commemorate the victims of KL Plaszow, expressed for many years. The Museum began its operations on 1 January 2021. It is co-managed by the Kraków Municipality and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
  • How will the former German Nazi camp KL Plaszow be commemorated?
    The KL Plaszow Museum was assigned to implement a project aimed to preserve the former camp area and describe and illustrate the fates of the prisoners and victims of the camp. This goal will be achieved by arranging sightseeing trails in the former camp area and two permanent exhibitions: in a new building (the Memorial) and in the historicalGrey House.

    The Memorial building will be constructed outside the post-camp area, but on an adjacent plot of land in Kamieńskiego Street. The building will host a permanent exhibition and contain the infrastructure necessary to operate the Memorial site (a car park, information stand, ticket office, toilets). The project also includes the renovation and adaptation for exhibition purposes of the historical building preserved in the former camp area known as the Grey House that contained camp administration rooms and a prison at the time of the camp’s operation.
  • Where will the Memorial be constructed?
    The Memorial will stand on a plot of land located on Kamieńskiego/Swoszowicka Streets, adjacent to the historical area of KL Plaszow.
  • Will the site be concreted over as part of the Memorial construction?
    No, the former area of KL Plaszow will remain open, unfenced and green. Modifications to natural features during the Memorial construction (planned outside the former camp area) will be limited to the minimum necessary. The Memorial and car park are designed to control growing pedestrian and coach traffic around the post-camp area.
  • Will the post-camp area be fenced?
    No, it will not be fenced, and no admission tickets will be required. Direct modifications to the post-camp area will be limited to a minimum. Only maintenance tasks and necessary interventions are planned.
  • Is it true that the Museum − Memorial site operation will generate heavy tourist traffic in the area?
    The Memorial and functional amenities intended for visitors will be used to manage and control the chaotic tourist traffic that presently poses a nuisance to people who live around the former camp KL Plaszow. Coaches will be directed to a dedicated car park and prevented from obstructing traffic in and around Jerozolimska Street. Tourist traffic management is necessary, considering that the number of visitors to the former German Nazi camp KL Plaszow is growing year by year. This increase in traffic was inhibited by the restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic, but now it is intensifying again.
  • Is the area of former German Nazi concentration camp KL Plaszow classified as a park?
    The former camp area, occupying 0.37 sq. km, is not a park; neither by a legal nor by a common-sense definition. The area is entered in the list of protected heritage monuments. It is also registered as a war cemetery. The site contains two Jewish cemeteries and three mass graves and execution places. We refer to the area bounded by Jerozolimska, Lecha, Pańska and Swoszowicka Streets using only the name that reflects its past: ‘the area of former KL Plaszow camp’.
  • Why is the site to be commemorated by constructing the Memorial building, and not e.g. by arranging a Memorial park?
    The Memorial is designed as the main museum building. Located on a plot of land outside the area entered in the list of protected heritage monuments, but adjacent to it, in a location that is easily accessible on public transport, the Memorial is intended to introduce visitors to the history of the Memorial site.

    The architects used natural terrain to design a structure embedded in an escarpment, hidden underground, and exposing only its front facade. A tunnel constructed under Swoszowicka Street will enable visitors to reach the Memorial site directly from the building.
  • What objectives does the KL Plaszow Museum have?
    The Museum preserves the memory of thousands of victims persecuted and killed in the former German Nazi KL Plaszow camp. The idea of the Museum is dictated by the need to commemorate the tragic history of this site and to broaden knowledge of the camp’s operation and its victims. Additionally, the Museum is designed to protect people living around the site against disruption and nuisance caused by uncontrolled tourist traffic. The Memorial site will retain its green and open character.