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  Plaszow labor camp

Plaszow labor camp KrakowType: Monument
Location: Outer city center

Address: Abrahama

Plaszow forced labor camp was located 10 kilometers outside the city center of Krakow and it directly adjoined the local stone and lime quarries. The camp was established in 1942. It was built on the site of two Jewish cemeteries and the Nazis used the tombstones as building materials. It was encircled by an electric barbed-wire fence and guarded by thirteen guard towers, equipped with machine guns and revolving searchlights. In 1943 Amon Goeth became the Commandant of Plaszow. He was also assigned to supervise the final liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto on 13-14 March 1943, when 8,000 Jews were interned in Plaszow. By May - June 1944 the number of prisoners had increased to 24,000. The camp supplied manpower to several armaments factories and a stone quarry. The death rate in the camp was very high. Many prisoners, including children and women died of typhus, starvation and executions. When the Nazis knew that the Russians were coming towards Krakow, they completely dismantled the camp, leaving an empty field. The bodies that were buried here in mass graves were exhumed and burned on site. The prisoners were transported to other concentration camps. On 20 January 1945 the Red Army liberated the then empty camp. The area which held the camp now consists of sparsely wooded hills and fields with one large memorial and a small plaque. Plaszow labor camp is featured in Schindler's List movie.
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Latest Review
Reviewed by Mark Loxley from England on 2012-07-14  
Went to Plaszow Labour camp on the 5-7-12, could not belive their were people living in Amon Goeth house,didnt seem right some how.As already stated the site its self is totaly neglected apart for a few signs.Also the balcony of the Amon Goeth house has been removed. i can understand this, but was also dissappointed. I would advise anyone to make the effort and visit this site, it was a very moving experience.
Reviewed by Paul Griffin from London on 2009-03-14  
In a way this is a more heartrending visit than either Auschwitz or Birkenau which though managing to avoid commercialisation, though only just in the case of the former with the fast food stall as we enter the car park. Auschwitz and Birkenau tend to be overrun with parties of schoolchildren, bored and uninterested, and tourists, eager to chalk off a landmark place in their travels. The French brats using the memorial at Birkenau to stage a snowball fight clearly had no care that they were more more a few metres from the chambers were motre than a million people were crudely slaughtened because of their race or religion. In a way the neglected state of Plazsow sums up the true feeling in too many hearts that the holocaust was something that happened a long time ago to other people and gives a right to the bigots and zealots to carry on with their deluded dogmas. A personal tip is take a map but only to get to the site. Don't take one of the site itself or at least save loooking at until you have wandered past the first notice through the bushes into the site. It shocks you when you realise what sites that grey building you strolled past saw. You walk across what you belive are the concrete floors of demolished structures until you come across a single Jewish headstone. Past above the quarry where Schindlers' List was filmed, and see the rotting hulks that the slave labour might have operated. Finally circle round through the site of the cremetorium on to the memorial. A candle and fresh flowers showed some had not forgotten though locals walking the dogs were the only other people I saw. The main memorial is a splendid structure, looking down with bowed heads upon a main road and the aforementioned supermarket, but one wonders if anyone tends it. Finally complete the circuit past Amon Goethe's villa, on the left not the right as a empty spot where a house once stood threw me, and the SS quarters with torture chamber downstaris. The ghosts must be quiet for both to still be occupied.
Reviewed by Tigs from London on 2009-02-13  
I visited in the snow. Having read these comments I'm glad that it was blowing a blizzard because it would have been even more heart breaking to see the place covered in litter. I think it should be better looked after. Even just a few signs pointing towards the various monuments would be a good idea. I too cannot believe that people live in those houses today. Who would want to live in buildings permeated with such evil? This is well worth a visit if you are on foot and doing Podgorze as well.
Reviewed by sharon from cwmbran on 2009-02-01  
all i want to know is - how come there is a lidl supermaket at the bottom of the hill where the concentration camp used to be?
Reviewed by gwyn jenkins from pontypool wales on 2008-01-02  
visited on the 29 12 2007 area covered with snow found it hard to find like as if no one wants to remember what happened here.there should be more recognition of what occured here area covered by litter and homeless people living in caves. it is hard to believe both the grey house & the villa of amon goeth are still standing, surely both should have been demolished after the sad
Reviewed by Amanda F from Glasgow, Scotland on 2007-11-29  
Upon visiting the site I was very disappointed to see the state it was in, but nonetheless you are still shcoked by the vast area, the bits and pieces of the camp that are left behind and the feeling around the site. It was late in the afternoon we visited and it was getting dark, but there was certainly an eerie atmosphere to the area, and you can still see the grey house that once housed an attachment of SS officers. Amon Goeth's villa still stands and, unbelievably, both houses are inhabited by locals! There is also a tall memorial dedicated to the people who lost their lives there. The camp itself is mostly covered in litter; nappies, beer cans, rubbish, matresses from the homeless who live in the mine caves. This is very upsetting to see and it is as if the place has been forgotten about by the city. I wish someone who take more care of it. Especially poignant is the small grave stones you will see doted here and there that have been erected by the families of those who were murdered here. A must see site, but very sad and can be upsetting to see it's state now. But please visit it. Amanda
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