We are pleased to announce that Kraków City signed an agreement with the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport on joint supervision over a new institution of culture: The Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site in Krakow. The German Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp (1942–1945) (in organization)
The agreement was signed on 26 February 2021. It entered into force on 1 March 2021 and is valid until 31 December 2051. The document imposes on the city and ministry the obligation to jointly finance current operations of the Museum and to allocate PLN 25 million each to implementation of a museum development project by the end of 2025.
The new institution of culture of Kraków City named The Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site in Kraków. German Nazi Labour Camp and Concentration Camp (1942 – 1945) (in organization) initiated its operations on 1 January 2021. The KL Plaszow Museum is established on land owned by the Kraków Municipality, Jewish Religious Community in Kraków and State Treasury. The institution took over an area of about 0.40 sq. km, including about 0.37 sq. km entered in 2002 in the record of historical objects kept by the Małopolskie Province Conservator of Historical Objects, and adjacent land of about 0.03 sq. km.
The agreement on joint supervision over the Museum marks another important milestone in efforts aimed to commemorate the former German Plaszow labour and concentration camp where about six thousand people died. The agreement was preceded by a letter of intent concluded between Kraków City and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (8 June 2020), and a resolution adopted by the Kraków City Council on 14 October 2020 on the establishment of the Museum as a local-government institution of culture.
The new institution is managed by the Kraków Museum that developed a scenario for new commemoration of the former KL Plaszow and conducted archaeological surveys in the post-camp area as part of preparations for the establishment of the Museum – Memorial Site and commencement of its mission. The Museum also conducted research and carried out educational projects aimed to promote knowledge and memory of the former camp. The projects were financed using funds provided by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and by Kraków City. Work on commemoration has been continued autonomously by the KL Plaszow Museum since 1 January 2021.
The Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site is founded on three pillars. The first is formed by the land, a genuine witness of suffering and death of victims; the second – by a museum exhibition displayed in the Grey House, once an administration building of the cemetery used by the Jewish community in Kraków, occupied by the camp management during World War II, and in a new museum building: the Memorial; the third pillar is formed by education and dialogue.
The guidelines for the commemoration project provide for preservation of the former camp area in its unchanged and authentic condition as far as practicable, installing information boards and marking important points such as mass graves or the roll-call ground. The adjacent area at Kamieńskiego Street will be used to construct a new museum building named Memorial, to house a permanent exhibition featuring the history of KL Plaszow, a car park and a park. The Grey House will be repaired (a building that before World War II was occupied by the management of the cemetery used by the Jewish community in Kraków, during the war included in the structure of KL Plaszow). The project does not include reconstruction of the camp infrastructure, or construction of other buildings in the post-camp area. Admission in the post-camp area will be free.
Museums, as professional institutions, are established all over the world to manage and preserve memorial sites. Work on the construction of the Memorial Museum buildings and objects and organization of a permanent exhibition is estimated to take about five years.