‘Not only Kroke’ – a new history of Jews in Kraków

The Tempel Synagogue, known as the Progressive Synagogue, on Miodowa Street in Kraków, is one of four active synagogues in Krakow. It serves mainly as a venue for cultural events. Jerzy Ochoński/PAP

The Kraków district of Kazimierz is home to the city’s Jewish history and heritage. Before World War II, there were almost 60,000 Jews living in Kraków, around one quarter of the city’s total population.

After the Holocaust, the history of Kraków’s Jews all but comes to a standstill, although just before the fall of communism in 1989, a Jewish cultural festival starts to take place in Kazimierz.

Fast forward to 2008, and the UK’s Prince Charles – now King Charles III – arrives in Kraków to take part in the opening of the Jewish Community Centre. Now, the Jewish community in Kraków continues to grow, and a deeper understanding of Kraków’s Jewish heritage has also called for an updated history of the life and times of Kraków’s Jews.

Debrief host John Beauchamp sits down with Edyta Gawron and Michał Galas from the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Jagiellonian University, the authors and editors of ‘Not only Kroke’, a chronicle of sorts which covers a millennium of Jewish history in Poland’s southern city, the former Royal Capital.

Jerzy Ochoński/PAP