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Schindler's Factory

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Oskar Schindler’s enamel factory (Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera) in Krakow famously employed Jewish forced labor until 1944. Schindler protected his workers from the Nazi regime’s order to send them to concentration and extermination camps, saving over 1200 people from being killed in the Holocaust. Since the story was popularized by Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List, the factory has been a popular site for visitors to Krakow. Since 2010, the buildings of the factory have housed an exhibition on the history of Krakow and its Jewish community during World War II. The number of tickets for each day is limited, so it’s highly recommended that you book tickets or tours online in advance.
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro
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4 Tips for Visiting the Schindler's Factory

Schindler Factory Main entrance | Flickr: Dennis Jarvis CC BY-SA 2.0
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Book Your Tickets in AdvanceThere are only a limited number of tickets issued for each day, so make sure you book in advance to avoid missing out. If official tickets are no longer available for your dates, then consider booking an official tour instead. This option also lets you skip the line.
Oskar Schindler’s desk and the tinware sarcophagus | Wiki: Adrian Grycuk CC BY-SA 3.9
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Walk the Memory TrailKrakow is home to the Memory Trail, a collection of 3 museums that jointly tell the story of Krakow from 1939 to 1956. It includes Schindler’s Factory, it includes the Eagle Pharmacy in the former ghetto and the exhibition at Pomorska Street, which house the former Gestapo detention cells. A combined ticket is available for these three sites, and visiting them all will give you a more complete picture of life in Krakow during WWII.
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Collect Your Own SouvenirVisitors who’d like to collect a souvenir of their visit should make sure to stop at the five stamp points which are located throughout the exhibition. Watch out for them near information points about historically significant dates. Small cards to stamp and take away are provided free of charge.
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Something Lighter for After Your Visit: MOCAKFor those who are looking for something lighter after their visit, the factory building also contains the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAK). It offers a range of rotating contemporary and modern art exhibitions which engage with different subjects as well as several permanent exhibits
Factory building front

Oskar Schindlers Enamel Factory: Tickets und Tours

There are different offers for tickets and tours of Schindler’s Factory available online and it’s worth comparing the options when booking in advance.

Tickets

The basic ticket for Schindler’s Factory lets visitors explore the exhibition at their own pace. However, the museum presents a lot of information in an extremely dense way, so a tour is extremely worthwhile especially for guests who would prefer a clear overview of the facts.

Guided Tours

If you’re booking a guided tour, make sure to check that the entry ticket for the factory is included in the price. If you’re booking a tour from the museum’s official website, the entry ticket is always included in the total price of the tour. Some third-party providers only include the tour, so you’d have to buy the tickets yourself on the day, which can be difficult or even impossible on days where the museum has already sold all of the available tickets.

Combined Tickets

Several third-party tour providers combine a visit to Schindler’s Factory with a guided tour of the former ghetto in Podgórze or a visit to some of Krakow’s other major sights. As with the guided tours, make sure to check that entry tickets to the museum are included in the price before booking.
Oskar Schindler | Flickr: Bruno CC BY-SA 2.0

Oskar Schindler: Reality vs. Fiction

Although there was a great deal of fiction and artistic license used in Schindler’s List, the heart of Stephen Spielberg’s movie is based on a true story. The museum itself isn’t primarily about Oskar Schindler and the events of the film. Instead, it offers a historical overview of the city of Krakow during the Second World War and a summary of the Holocaust in Poland.

Schindler - Not a Natural Rebel

Oskar Schindler was a socialite and industrialist, but he began his relationship with the Nazi regime as a spy in Moravia. After the German invasion of Poland, he was given control of the enamel factory in Krakow. After his factory was assigned a workforce of forced Jewish laborers, he gradually began to protect them from further violence and persecution by arranging for his factory to be classified as essential for the war effort.

Later he was able to leverage his good relationship with the SS in order to maintain a separate sub-camp for his workers, with better living conditions and away from the direct control of SS officers. Together with his wife Emilie, he is considered responsible for saving the lives of about 1,200 Jews. Initially, the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel was conflicted about whether Schindler should be granted the status of Righteous Among the Nations. The status was granted to him posthumously in 1993.

Schindlers List (or Lists?)

As far as historians know, Schindler made seven lists, not just one. These were kept in the factory for administrative use and four of them have been traced and recovered. A complete list of the Jews who were saved by Schindler can be found inside the factory in the room containing the memorial for the Schindlerjuden.

Location Filming

Parts of Schindler’s List were filmed on location at the factory, including scenes featuring the exterior of the factory building and those filmed in the staircase. On your visit to the factory, you can visit Oskar Schindler’s real office as well as the office space that was used as a set in the movie.

Original Enamel Factory Building

The original factory building is still standing today. Until 2002 it was still in use as a factory by a company that manufactured telecommunications equipment. Later it was divided into two museums, the Schindler’s Factory Museum and MOCAK. Schindler’s office is fitted with its original furniture and decor, but the rest of the factory has been reconstructed as part of the museum.
Portraits of the Saved Jews | Flickr: Dennis Jarvis CC BY-SA 2.0

The Nazi Occupation of Krakow: 1939 - 1945

The exhibition doesn’t exactly contain the lightest material, but it is extremely well-researched, educational, and a resource for remembering the Holocaust. Different themes, including the struggle for survival, are presented using multimedia exhibits, original documents, and testimonies from those who were present at the time.

Krakow before the War

A small portion of the exhibition is dedicated to the period of time before the invasion of Poland by Germany. It covers the multicultural society that existed in Krakow as well as the political situation across Europe in an engaging and informative way.

Nazi Occupation and the General Government

After Krakow was absorbed into the General Government (a region separate to the Reich for administrative reasons but administered by German officials), the Polish population was marginalized and driven out from the old town. In addition to symbolic changes such as the renaming of the central market square as Adolf-Hitler-Platz, the exhibition also documents the other ways in which the Germans oppressed Polish residents of Krakow.

The Jewish Community

A large part of the museum is dedicated to the increasingly dangerous situation of the Jewish community, including their internment in the ghetto between 1941 and 1943, after which they were deported to concentration and extermination camps. The visual representation of the narrow corridors of the ghetto is extremely impressive and will leave a lasting impression on any visitor.

The Enamel Factory

Oskar Schindler’s factory produced enamelware with the labor of Jewish workers until 1944 when production switched to munitions. After the Soviet army moved deeper into the center of Poland, production was moved to Brünnlitz in Moravia. There Schindler was able to recruit more workers from the Plazsow and Groß-Rosen concentration camps, ultimately saving the lives of around 1,200 people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I book a ticket or tour in advance?

As the number of tickets for each day is strictly limited, you should book your tickets as far in advance as possible. The museum is extremely popular with Polish and international tourists and, as one of the most popular museums in Krakow, can be very busy. It might also be necessary to buy additional tickets for temporary exhibitions, film screenings, and other special events at the museum. Read more.

How long does a visit to Schindler’s Factory take?

If you’re taking a guided tour, you should plan to spend around 90 to 100 minutes inside the museum. If you’re visiting without a tour then you can easily spend longer inside, since there’s a lot of information to read and clips to listen to. There’s no time limit on how long you can spend inside, so guests with a particular interest in history can spend as much time as they need soaking up the information. Read more.

Is a visit to Schindler’s Factory suitable for children?

The owners of the museum, the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, recommends that visitors should be 14 or older before visiting. Younger children may enter when accompanied by a parent or guardian, with the expectation that the adult will ensure that they explain the exhibits in a child-friendly way. With the exception of tours for school groups, there is no material that is designed to be especially child-friendly. Read more.

Is there a café or restaurant at the museum?

The Film Café is located at the entrance to the museum and serves drinks and small snacks. Next door, the MOCAK art museum also has a restaurant that offers small meals such as bagels for reasonable prices. There are also several restaurants in the neighborhood surrounding Schindler’s Factory. Read more.

Is the museum accessible for disabled visitors?

The building contains elevators for visitors who are wheelchair users. However, the route through the museum is constructed out of relatively narrow corridors, and it’s advised that wheelchair users should bring a companion with them (disabled guests and their companions are entitled to a reduced price ticket). The room containing the memorial for the Schindlerjuden can only be entered by 10 visitors at once. For hearing-impaired or visually-impaired visitors, the Muzeum Fabryka Oskara Schindlera offers versions of the multimedia presentations in local sign language and in audio descriptions. These can be downloaded from the official website of Muzeum Krakowa but this service is currently only available in Polish. Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours:

In winter (November to March) the factory is open from 10 am to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and from 10 am to 2 pm on Mondays. In summer (April to October) the factory is open from 9 am to 8 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and from 9 am to 4 pm on Mondays. On the first Monday of every month in summer the opening hours are 9 am to 2 pm. The factory is closed on the first Tuesday of every month.

Address:

Muzeum Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera
4 Lipowa Street
30-702 Krakow
Poland

How to get there:

It takes about 30 minutes to walk to the museum from the center of Krakow. Alternatively, you can take the train or the bus to Kraków Zabłocie.

Cloakroom:

A free cloakroom is available for visitors. Backpacks and larger items of luggage are not permitted in the exhibitions.

Tickets:

Tickets for Schindler’s Factory cost PLN 26 or PLN 22 for those entitled to a reduced price ticket. A family ticket is available for PLN 52 and is valid for two adults and two children under 16 or one adult and three children under 16. Combined tickets for the Memory Trail (including the Pomorska Street Museum, the Eagle Pharmacy, and Schindler’s Factory) cost PLN 40, PLN 32 for concessions, and PLN 80 for a family ticket.

Accessibility:

The museum is wheelchair accessible and there are lifts between the various floors. Audio described and video sign language guides are available for blind, partially-sighted, or deaf visitors respectively. Guide dogs are permitted.

Good to Know:

The museum recommends that children should be at least 14 due to the sensitive nature of the exhibition. Children under 14 are allowed to enter as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Maurizio Massaro
Written byMaurizio MassaroMaurizio is a cosmopolitan, a musician and comes around. In his role as a content manager at TicketLens, he is always striving to find new offers as well as writing about sights all over the world.Translated by Anneliese O'Malley
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