Płaszów concentration camp clean-up

A 270,000zł project to make the site of the former Nazi concentration camp in Płaszów more accessible to the public is underway.

Littered, overgrown, and bearing scant visible acknowledgement of the grim role it played in Kraków’s history, Płaszów is often overlooked by visitors to the city, and authorities believe that many people who do get there are unaware of the site’s significance. Now the Social Committee for the Protection of Kraków’s Monuments has granted the money to change that. From now until the end of November, paths will be lined with gravel, vegetation will be cleared, fencing will be installed, and information boards will be erected.

Piotr Hamarnik, of the city Board of Infrastructure and Transport (ZIKiT), told the Polish-language newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza that mature trees would be protected, but that the clean-up would see weeds and shrubs cleared from the site.

Mr Hamarnik added: “Most Cracovians, especially those living in the vicinity, know [the history of Płaszów]. But there are people who, walking around the old camp, do not realize where they are.”

Płaszów was run by SS Commander Amon Goth, whose house still stands next to the site. His barbarity was depicted in the movie Schindler’s List, filmed in Kraków. The camp was infamous as a site of mass executions by the Nazis, but was dismantled at the end of the second world war and its prisoners forced on a ‘death march’ to Auschwitz.

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