Emergency Room, ‘Pod Orłem’ Pharmacy, Kraków

Tadeusz Pankiewicz w aptece Pod Orłem

Tadeusz Pankiewicz was born on the 21st of November 1908 in Sambor (in today's Ukraine), where his father ran a pharmacy. In 1909, Józef Pankiewicz and his family moved to Podgórze and opened the ‘Pod Orłem’ pharmacy in the corner tenement building by what was then the Mały Rynek (later Plac Zgody, currently Plac Bohaterów Getta). Józef and Maria (née Weirich) together with their children (Kazimierz, Zofia, and Tadeusz) moved into an apartment above the pharmacy. In 1930, Tadeusz Pankiewicz graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Jagiellonian University. In March 1941, the Germans established a ghetto for the Jewish population in Podgórze. Despite the order to leave the ghetto area, Tadeusz Pankiewicz managed to get permission to run a pharmacy. Together with his staff, he became involved in helping the Jewish population. The pharmacy was a meeting place and a place to exchange information; through it, food and difficult to obtain medicines were delivered to the ghetto. The pharmacy's employees helped find safe houses outside the ghetto. Through the windows of his pharmacy, the pharmacist saw the deaths of hundreds of people, deportations to the extermination camp in Bełżec, and the closing of the ghetto in March 1943. His memoirs, published in 1947, are one of the most important accounts of the Kraków ghetto. For his actions during the German occupation, he was recognised as ‘Righteous among the Nations’ in 1983.

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