Plaszow Concentration Camp

The old black-and-white photograph below shows the Plaszow camp, taken when it was in operation. The Plaszow forced labor camp, later a concentration camp, was actually located right next to not one, but two, granite quarries. The second of these quarries is shown in the second photograph below. A monument to the victims of the Plaszow camp can be seen in this color photograph, taken in 1998. The old photograph was taken in the 1940ies on the other side of the plateau on which the monument now stands. Both photos show the city of Krakow in the distance.

Plaszow Camp as it looked when it was in operation

Terraced ground where Plaszow barracks were located

Shown in the photo above, on a high plateau, is the back side of the large monument, which faces the city of Krakow. It was on this plateau that mass executions took place, according to testimony in the trial of Amon Goeth in a Polish court in 1946. According to survivors of the Plaszow camp, 8,000 bodies were later dug up and burned on pyres in order to destroy the evidence. Goeth, who was charged with repsonsibility for these deaths, was convicted and hanged.

According to my tour guide, some of the barracks of the Plaszow forced labor camp were located on the terraced terrain that you see in the foreground of the photo above; portions of the barrack foundations are still visible. In the movie, Schindler's List, there is a scene where a woman engineer is shot because she told the workers that the foundations were not laid correctly and would have to be redone. The barracks were prefabricated buildings which were carried up the hill to the camp from the Plaszow railroad station by women prisoners in the camp.

On the right side of the photo above, you can see some of the buildings of the city of Krakow in the distance. The photograph below shows a sign which stands just to the left of where the photo above was taken; the sign says that this is a nature preserve because of the rare plants, native to the area, which are located here. Because this is a protected area, Spielberg could not build a movie set here. Besides, the monument would have shown in the background.

Site of former Plaszow camp which is now a nature preserve