Krakow-Plaszow Concentration Camp

This exhibit will analyze the Krakow (Krakau)-Plaszow concentration camp that existed in Poland from October 1942 to January 20, 1945. The Krakow-Plaszow main camp was built in the Plaszow suburb of Krakow, Poland by the Nazi regime after the Polish invasion, by the order of the SS staff and Police Leader Oberfuhrer Julian Scherner (Jarkowska-Natkaniec 154; Megargee 862). Plaszow largely served as a labor camp used to mediate transportations of Polish Jews and non-Jews from nearby concentration camps and the Krakow ghetto to Auschwitz, but officially became a concentration camp in early 1944 and lasted for 12 months until the fear of oncoming Allies motivated Nazi leadership to ‘liquidate’ the camp and transport any remaining prisoners to Auschwitz or other nearby killing centers. The Krakow-Plaszow camp had 3 subcamps: Zablocie, Wieliczka, and Mielec. Zablocie was famously depicted in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which this exhibit will analyze for validity and impact. This exhibit will also examine the living conditions of the Krakow-Plaszow camp, survivor testimonies of the Zablocie camp and Plazow main camp, and how the camp and its leading officers were dealt with after the war. Around 30,000 - 50,000 prisoners went through the Plaszow main camp, and at least 5,000 - 8,000 prisoners died under the camp’s strenuous and terrifying living conditions and harsh camp commandant Amon (Goeth) Goth (Megargee, 2009). This exhibit cannot capture each of the prisoners’ unique experiences, but it will attempt to serve as a reflection of what generally happened at the Plaszow camp, and its consequences.


Jasmin Stephens