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 end of investment of the KL Plaszow Museum is scheduled for late 2025.


Mission and strategy

Mission and strategy

  • The mission of the KL Plaszow Museum
    The past and the present, KL Plaszow in memory and in amnesia, represent a reference point for our building of open civic attitudes for the future. Memorial museums were established in former camp locations to preserve those places and the memory of the crimes they witnessed. They exist as evidence and a warning, to educate visitors in the spirit of humanitarianism. The places also commemorate their victims, especially those who left no relations. The obligation to preserve memory is imposed on specific public institutions, but should be assumed by all of us.

    The KL Plaszow Museum will carry out its mission by:

    – managing and protecting the former camp area;

    – conducting research into its history and implementing educational programs;

    – managing visits to the Memorial site to witness the history and encourage a deep reflection and modification of our former pictures of ourselves and the world, thus developing empathy and sensitivity. A visit to the Memorial site is the basic form of insight into its history and demonstration of respect for the victims.

    – developing contacts with the witnesses and their families, collecting accounts and memorabilia, and involvement of the witnesses in the Museum’s activity, to acquire knowledge of the site’s history and to reflect on the past.

    The mission of the KL Plaszow Museum also includes:

    – science – building and preserving collections, conducting historical and archaeological research, making an archive and a library available, organizing temporary exhibitions and conferences, and sharing knowledge;

    – education – open, reliable, publicly available;

    – participation – building up relationships and creating joint projects (in education, science, arts) with entities preserving the memory of KL Plaszow;

    – volunteering.
  • Remembering the victims
    The KL Plaszow Museum preserves the memory of thousands of victims persecuted and killed in the former German Nazi camp in Plaszow. The idea of the Museum comes from the need to commemorate the tragic history of this site and to broaden knowledge of camp operation and its victims. The Museum is being established in response to appeals to commemorate the victims of KL Plaszow, expressed for many years. This memory was disappearing and fading with time. The Museum is intended to transform the area of former camp Plaszow into a place of reflection on the past and the present.
  • The protection of nature
    The functioning of KL Plaszow Museum cannot be planned without preserving the natural, green and open character of this unique site. Managing an area of about 0.4 sq. km, including 0.37 sq. km of former camp land, the Museum will preserve both relics of the past and green spaces, focussing on maintaining the natural characteristics of the site. Only grass trimming and current landscaping services are planned. Direct modifications to natural features in the post-camp area are and will be limited to an absolute minimum. Only maintenance tasks and necessary interventions are planned.

    Combining the museum and historical functions of the Plaszow KL Museum while preserving its existing green character is a unique museum project on an international scale. The history, memory and reflection on the past and the present, the protection of nature – these principal goals and guidelines are adopted by the KL Plaszow Museum, as an institution of culture of Kraków City, co-financed by Kraków Municipality and the government of Poland.

    Maintaining the open and green character of the site, with a minimum impact on natural features in the post-camp area, is also dictated for legal and religious reasons. The area of the former camp has been registered in the list of protected heritage monuments, and registered as a war cemetery for more than a decade. Additionally, Jewish religious laws prevent the removal of soil in cemeteries and victim burial places. The KL Plaszow Museum is committed to respect both national legislation and the rules of Jewish religion.