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Archive: A World before a Catastrophe | Krakow’s Jews between the World Wars

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A World before a Catastrophe | Krakow’s Jews between the World Wars
October 9, 2013 — January 5, 2014
Museum of Modern Art | Salon
 
The exhibition of historic photographs from the life of the Jews in Krakow between the two world wars is a major project of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow in 2007, with three repeats, in Nuremberg (2008), Jerusalem (2009) and London (2010). This year’s exhibition held in Olomouc is an introduction to the Days of Jewish Culture in Olomouc (2013). Its several scores of photographs are fragments of the story of the colourful life of the Jewish community in Krakow, with its specific atmosphere. 

It will remind you of a world that has irrevocably disappeared due to the holocaust during the Second World War. It shows the Jewish society in its everyday life in Krakow as well as inside the community – its religion, societies, business activities, it tells of the relation of the Jews to the gaining of Polish independence, it remembers significant persons, etc. Behind the quiet, peaceful life of interwar Krakow, it looks as if the European tragedy should never come...
In addition to the vanishing memories of the contemporaries this life can be brought back only by authentic period photography. In the exhibition this material is supplemented by a silent film report from the streets in Krakow, shot in the 1930s. he photographs on display here exude the atmosphere of that time: the beauty of historic Krakow, of its parks, the Planty; the charakteristic silhuettes of people hurring to work or to synagogue, resting on park benches, or taking a stroll on a Sunday afternoon; the march-past of young Jews bearing the stardards of Hebrew Gymnasium on Polish Indenpendence Day.

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