Jails, Pomorska Street, Kraków

Inskrypcja wydrapana na ścianie podręcznego aresztu Gestapo

The most valuable part of Pomorska Street and the part that makes it especially important is the Gestapo jail, preserved in a nearly unchanged state. Before the war, three basement rooms in the Silesia House were used for storage. They were converted into jail cells after the Germans took over the building. On the walls of these rooms, there are around 500 surviving authentic inscriptions from the years 1943–1945, left by people arrested and interrogated in this building. It is a unique and shocking document from the time of the German occupation that has been preserved in Kraków and is available to visitors. The content of the inscriptions shows fear, uncertainty, hopelessness, and fear for the fate of loved ones. Some of them are often the last mark, the last goodbye of the prisoners, who expected not to survive the interrogation, tortures, and imprisonment. Many of the surviving inscriptions are a kind of prayer, a plea for salvation, and ultimately for death, which would save them from suffering. The vast majority of them are anonymous. In the Polish archives known to us, there are no surviving German documents from the war period that could be a source of knowledge about what went on in the Silesia House for over five years of German occupation. Knowledge of the events of that period was gained through numerous accounts given by survivors of the horrible tortures inflicted on the prisoners in the Gestapo building. To this day, the number of people who passed through the torture rooms at number 2 Pomorska Street is unknown. Since the beginning of the occupation of Kraków, the words 'Pomorska' and 'Gestapo' became synonymous with the terror and fear that gripped people in Kraków at the mere mention of either of the two words.


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