If nations lose their memory they cease to be.

Tukidydes

MEMORY

The history of Poland and Kraków is marked by a struggle for survival that at times seemed endless. But hope was stronger than the pain and fear and as Sylweriusz Chmurkowski wrote in Two Faces of War: war makes wonders ! It destroys and kills but it is also a creative force because it gives strength and builds the spirit.
These were the days of heroes some of whom are well-known as their names have been carved on stone plaques, written down in books and pronounced with respect. But they were the days of unknown heroes, who paid dearly in their fight against oppression, with their lives, health and the trauma of their loved ones.
We want their memory to live on.
That’s why we created the project Save from Being Forgotten.

WITNESSES

Here you will find priceless witness stories in the form of short films. Each could start with the words: I was, I saw, I experienced, I survived.
Nothing can replace the memories, both good and bad, stored deeply in the souls of those who survived .
Time is against us, so hurry to hear their stories.

UNKNOWN STORIES

Let’s listen to what the men, women, scouts, partisans, Home Army soldiers, then children like Yanina Ecker (then a little Jewish girl saved by a Polish couple Józefa and Tadeusz Latawiec) have shared with us.

They survived the war, and then lived under Stalinist repression. Stanislaw Ptak and Henryk Münch spent ten years in Poland’s communist prisons. Józef Ostafin, whose story is told by his daughter, was sentenced to death and executed in 1947 in Kraków.
If placed in the same situations, would we have the same courage?
It is worth thinking about and discussing.

ARCHIVES

The interviews are accompanied by materials found in state archives.
We have created a digital archive consisting of a 50 minute documentary available online on the MHK website, as well as many hours of source material which can be found in the Oskar Schindler’s Factory library on 4 Lipowa Street in Krakow. These recordings are part of A Spoken History programme co-financed by the Museum of Polish History in Warsaw under the Patriotism of Tomorrow programme. Our interviews are part of the Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945 exhibition.

THANK YOU

We would like to say thank you to our heroes for sharing their stories with us.

  • more fiszer

    Józef Fiszer

    b. 1925

    Scout of Szare Szeregi. Soldier of the Home Army (AK).

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    Dorota Franaszkowa

    b. 1925

    Nurse. Liaison officer of the Home Army (AK).

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    Marian Młynarski

    b. 1926

    Scout of Szare Szeregi.

  • more kolyszko

    Teresa Siedlar-Kołyszko

    b. 1929

    Scout of Szare Szeregi.

  • more ptak

    Stanisław Ptak

    1921–1994

    Soldier of the Home Army (AK). Member of the League to Fight Bolshevism.

  • more ostafin

    Józef Ostafin

    1894–1947

    MP. Soldier of ZWZ–AK. Member of WiN.

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    Henryk Münch

    1906–1968

    Soldier of ZWZ–AK. Archivist. Town planner.

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    Yanina Ecker

    b. 1932

    As a child saved by the Józefa and Tadeusz Latawiec.

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    Rena Birnhack née Wohlfeiler

    b. 1927

    saved by Oskar Schindler

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    Bronisława Horowitz

    b. 1932

    Rescued by Oskar Schindler

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    Henryk Meller

    b. 1931

    Cigarette vendor from the Main Railway Station