Kazimierz is the former Jewish quarter. Today, it presents memories of what should have never happened, and there is life in the streets and houses – charming shops, restaurants, galeries and museums.
The cosy Czajownia and the delicious lunch
In the evening Radek takes me out to the Czajownia that has a huge selection of green and black tea from Japan, India and China, served with small snacks such as rice bisquits. We seat in cosy sofas and forget the time.
The next day I come back to Kazimierz for lunch. Iwona takes me to a restaurant that serves three course menus for 39 slotys. We have a soufflè, coq au vin and crème brûlée.
In front of the old synagogue there are many more inviting places, and the names of them remind us of the Jewish past – such as Ariel or Rubinstein.
Shops – I even come across Stöckli
In the narrow streeets I find inviting shops – my favorite is the sports shop that sells Stöckli skis, the trade mark that is cult in Switzerland.
The engineering museum
Rails lead to the old tram depot that now hosts the engineering museum.
Memories of what should have never happened
It always hurts me to see the traces of what should not have happened, though it is important not to forget.
In front of the old synagogue, I find this memorial.
In the Jewish cemetery, very few tomb stones are decorated with flowers or stones. The relatives are no longer here in Kazimierz.
The sun is setting behind the cemetary.
The museum of Jewism in Galicia displays memories from Malo Polska
The exhibition starts with the daunting paintings of Soshana. As a child she had to leave Vienna and felt herself as a stranger in the world, wherever she was. Her paintings express this feeling of lonelyness, and some are very dark.
Then the exhibition shows fotos of reminiscents of Jewish life in today’s Polish Galicia (or Mala Polska). This includes ruins of Synagogues, small holes in door cases, where excerpts from the bible were kept or an inscription plate that has been split to serve as floor tiles.
And then there were fotos of Auschwitz which is not far from Krakow.
This makes me feel bad and guilty. Let me finish with the foto of the Old Synagogue to remember the centuries long florishing Jewish life in Kazimierz and to show respect for it.