Why the Line Was Too Long at the Schindler Museum in Kraków

After I left the Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport hotel property and rode as a passenger in the train from the Kraków Lotnisko train station to Kraków Glówny in the city center of Kraków, I decided to go visit the Schindler Museum, which is also known as the Enamel Factory of Oskar Schindler.

Why the Line Was Too Long at the Schindler Museum in Kraków

Until I arrived in Kraków, I had no idea that the Schindler Museum was there; so I decided to visit it literally at the last minute.

Vistula River Kraków

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I walked south from the Kraków Glówny train station down the main street of Starowiślna during that cold grey late morning — passing through the east side of Kazimierz, which is the Old Jewish Quarter — and over a bridge which crosses the Vistula River…

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…to what is known in Polish as Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera. The walk was slightly greater than three kilometers and took me less than 45 minutes.

Tram Kraków

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

If you prefer, tram service is also available — as well as other modes of transportation. Tram route 19 will take you within close range of Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera.

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

When I arrived, I knew I was at the right place — not only because of this plaque on the building…

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but also because of this long line, which I saw well in advance of the building before I had turned the corner.

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The line to enter the museum stretched back as far as I could see — and it was not moving.

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Oskar Schindler saved greater than 1,200 Jewish people from certain death — and portraits of some of the people who colloquially became known as Schindler Jews are displayed in the windows near the entrance of the building.

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Imprinted on a metal plaque shaped like a gear on an exterior wall of the building is the following text: “This manufacturing warehouse complex was built in 1936 for the ‘Record’ metal goods factory. In the years 1939-1944 the plant was rented by O. Schindler, who employed Jews that otherwise faced the prospect of extermination. In 1948 the factory buildings were expanded and used as a telecommunications components plant.”

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

On yet another plaque outside of the building dedicated to Oskar Schindler are the words “Whoever saves one life, saves the word entire.”

Schindler Museum Krakow

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Summary

The reasons as to why the line was too long at the Schindler Museum in Kraków was because I arrived at the site before noon on a Monday — the day of the week when admission to the permanent exhibition is free of charge — and because that particular day was Yom HaShoah on April 24, 2017 when people worldwide commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, I simply chose the wrong day and time to visit.

If you want to visit during a Monday — other than during Yom HaShoah — for free admission to the permanent exhibition, you should have better luck than I did. When I planned my trip to Poland, I never even took into consideration that I would be visiting during Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is one time which spontaneity did not work out for me, as I found out later that visitors are advised to book a prior reservation in the booking system through this official Internet web site because the number of visitors permitted to the permanent exhibition are limited.

If you arrive on a day other than a Monday, the cost to visit the permanent exhibition is less than six dollars, which is a very reasonable price.

Although I was disappointed that I was unable to enter the museum, I was actually encouraged by the fact that so many people are interested enough to visit and Never Forget the atrocities which occurred during the Holocaust.

Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera
4 Lipowa Street, 30-702 Kraków
+48 12 257-10-17 Telephone
+48 12 257-00-95 Telephone and fax
+48 12 257 00 96 Telephone and fax
fabrykaschindlera@mhk.pl E-mail address

The museum is open during the winter season from November through March at 10:00 in the morning seven days per week and closes at 6:00 in the evening every day except for Mondays, when it closes at 2:00 in the afternoon.

The museum is open during the summer season from April through October at 9:00 in the morning and closes at 8:00 in the evening every day except for Mondays, when it opens at 10:00 in the morning and closes at 4:00 in the afternoon — except during the first Monday of each month, when it closes at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Visitors are admitted into the museum up until 90 minutes prior to closing time.

A minimum age of 14 years old is recommended for anyone visiting the exhibition.

The museum is closed on the following days in 2017: Tuesday, July 18; Tuesday, August 15; Wednesday, November 1; Friday, November 10; Saturday, November 11; and Monday, December 25.

Admission to the permanent exhibition is free of charge on Mondays; but due to security issues, the number of free tickets is limited.

On other days, the price of admission is as follows:

  • Regular — 21 złotys; or approximately $5.73 in United States dollars
  • Concessionary — 16 złotys; or approximately $4.36 in United States dollars
  • Groups with a guide — 20 złotys; or approximately $5.46 in United States dollars
  • Groups without at guide — 18 złotys; or approximately $4.91 in United States dollars
  • Schools with a guide — 15 złotys; or approximately $4.09 in United States dollars
  • Schools without a guide — 13 złotys; or approximately $3.55 in United States dollars
  • Family — 50 złotys; or approximately $13.64 in United States dollars — including either two adults and two children up to 16 years of age; or one adult and three children up to 16 years of age
  • Guide for individual visitors — 130 złotys; or approximately $35.46 in United States dollars

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

9 thoughts on “Why the Line Was Too Long at the Schindler Museum in Kraków”

  1. colleen says:

    Thanks for the info, and for the shout-out tip for your less-mobile (walking) readers.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You are welcome, colleen — and thank you.

  2. JJ says:

    This museum is ALWAYS crowded. I did the same walk and saw the line and turned around and went back. I will buy tickets ahead of time if I ever go back.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for that information, JJ.

      Judging the comments provided by PB_CT, the museum sounds like it is not worth enduring the crowds…

  3. PB_CT says:

    You didn’t miss much. I was there last week, having made advance reservations. The museum is really only peripherally about Oscar Schindler — the only related content shows a replica of his desk and a couple of the actual pots made at the factory. The rest is garden variety Krakow Ghetto, Holocaust and Russian occupation exhibits, although with a little bit of Disney-esque feel to it. Good for school kids, and encouraging to see that Polish school age groups were there, considering the dearth of Holocaust education otherwise in the Polish school system. It was disappointing to see that the museum perpetuated the narrative that the non-Jewish/Roma/etc. Poles were as much of a victim as anyone else, and didn’t acknowledge the role of many Poles who sympathized and cooperated with the Nazis toward their evil ends and took advantage of the after-effects by taking the property of those deported and refusing to return it when those precious few who survived the Holocaust came back for it. Equally disappointing is the lack of any information about the present-day controversy that exists about Oscar Schindler and the lingering questions that remain about his deserving to be included within the Righteous Among the Nations.

    The museum was educational by showing how modern day Polish society rationalizes and justifies the actions of their forebearers some 75 years ago, but has nothing to do with the movie or the man.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for providing that useful information, PB_CT.

      As I said, the museum was not on my radar.

      I am sorry to learn of your disappointment pertaining to your visit.

  4. LivelyFL says:

    Excellent info. Definitely useful.

  5. BB says:

    I was here a few weeks ago going to Krakow with the intention on visiting this museum and Auschwitz. We arrived at 9:30 am on a Monday morning hoping to get free tickets, and we did! The museum was very detailed in WWII history and amazing display of the events, but the line is long because they only let 15 people in at a time, and it took about 2 hours to get through the museum. It was a great experience for my family. One must never forget history such as this as the past can always happen again.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I appreciate you posting this information, BB.

      If they only allow 15 people in at a time, then I might have wasted my time waiting in that long line on the day that I arrived — especially as the day was Yom HaShoah.

      I am glad to learn that you enjoyed visiting the museum — and yes: Never Forget.

      Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *