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Krakow Ghetto opened 72 years ago this week

IN SCHINDLERS STEPS – This day in history – 1941 – The beginning of the Jewish ghetto in Krakow

One of the five main ghettos created by Nazi Germany during their occupation of Poland in WWII. Before the war, the city was an influential cultural centre for the 60,000 – 80,000 Jews that resided there.

February 26, 2013 Posted by | This Day In History, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diary of child survivor of Auschwitz published

KRAKOW TOURS — The diary of a child who survived four different Nazi concentration camps during World War II has finally been published.

Helga Weiss, now 83, was one of only 100 children to survive Auschwitz out of the 15,000 sent there from the concentration camp in Terezin, north of Prague. She and her mother were sent to four different camps between 1941 and 1945: Terezin, Auschwitz, Freiberg and Mauthausen.

The diary she kept during those years, drawing and writing the scenes she observed and experienced, begins to tell the story of an 8-year-old girl experiencing air raid alarms, the expulsion of Jewish children from school and the sewing of yellow Stars of David on clothing.

When Weiss was 12, she was sent with her family to Terezin, which was essentially a transit hub for Jews that would be sent to Auschwitz and Treblinka.

via Diary of child who survived Auschwitz finally published |

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | , | Leave a comment

The Man Who Volunteered For Auschwitz

Reports by a Pole who got himself imprisoned in Auschwitz during WW II to see what conditions were like inside the Nazi death camp have won the prestigious THE PROSE award in the US.

Captain Witold Pilecki’s reports, published by the independent Aquila Polonica publishing house in the United States, received the award from the Association of American Publishers, which brings together over 300 large American publishing houses.

Pilecki’s reports, ‘The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery’, was awarded in the ‘biographies and autobiographies’ category.

The book has also been named Editor’s Choice by the New York Times.

Captain Pilecki’s reports have been translated by Jarek Garliński, the son of the historian and Auschwitz prisoner Józef Garliński.

The 400-page book has an introduction by the renowned historian Norman Davies and a foreword by Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland.

In September 1940 Witold Pilecki volunteered to be captured and imprisoned in Auschwitz to bring out the story of German atrocities.

In 1943 he escaped from the camp, reached Warsaw and a year later fought in the Warsaw Rising. After the war he went to Italy and joined the Second Corps but was subsequently sent by the Polish intelligence to Poland as a spy.

However, he was captured and executed by the communist authorities in 1948.

He was rehabilitated in 1990 and in 2008 received posthumously the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish state distinction.


A Diamond amongst heroes

February 24, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, News, Recommendations | , , , | Leave a comment

Oskar Schindler’s Factory Photo Gallery

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who, after witnessing with horror the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Kraków in March 1943, began employing Jewish workers in his enamel factory at 4 Lipowa St., which supplied metal goods deemed necessary to the war effort to the German army. Schindler managed to save more than 1,200 Jews from the death camps at great risk and expense to himself. Steven Spielberg’s movie “Schindler’s List” was filmed almost entirely in Kraków. More information on Oskar Schindler can be found at

I didn’t take too many pictures at the museum as it was incredibly dark inside and really didn’t lend itself to photography layout wise, but what few I did are displayed in this small sub-gallery.

via Oskar Schindler’s Factory Photo Gallery by Helen Betts at

February 21, 2013 Posted by | Recommendations | | Leave a comment

Polish Police try to catch a runaway pig.

February 18, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Josef Mengele and the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz

As powerful beams of light revealed the new arrivals at Auschwitz, the SS guards could scarcely believe their eyes. One by one, seven tiny people were lifted off the train.

Five were women — each no taller than a girl of five, yet wearing make-up and elegant dresses. They looked like painted dolls.

Huddled together in a circle, the seven dwarfs made no attempt to join the teeming mass of passengers being herded up a ramp by soldiers with alsatians straining at the leash.

The Ovitz family were subjected to gruesome experiments at the hands of Dr Josef Mengele in Auschwitz

Instead, one of the male dwarfs started handing out autographed cards to the guards who surrounded them. After all, it couldn’t hurt for them to know the Lilliput Troupe was famed internationally for its variety shows.

Like most of the Hungarian Jews on the train, which had taken three days to arrive at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the dwarfs had no idea they’d just been deposited in the Nazis’ most notorious extermination camp.

An SS officer strode over and established they were all siblings from the Ovitz family. Immediately, the order went out: Wake the doctor!

via How the seven dwarfs of Auschwitz fell under the spell of Dr Death: The hideous experiments carried out by Nazi Josef Mengele on seven trusting brothers and sisters | Mail Online.

February 16, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , | Leave a comment

KRAKOW TOURS – In the news again


Coastal View & Moor News
Feb – March 2013


February 15, 2013 Posted by | News | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day in Poland

Valentine’s Day is being celebrated in Poland, with pastry chefs across the country rustling up suitably romantic confections.

Valentines Day PolandAs with Halloween,Valentine’s Day passed virtually unnoticed in Poland until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

However, in the last ten years in particular, the celebrations have become increasingly popular, especially with young Poles.

The picturesque medieval town of Chelmno, northern Poland, has thrown itself into the Valentine’s Day spirit with particular gusto.

A relic of St Valentine that was donated to the Church of St. Mary in 1630 – but largely forgotten until 2002 – has inspired an annual extravaganza on 14 February.

The municipal authorities have even gone so far as to re-brand Chelmno as “the town of the enamoured” in its official slogan.

Elsewhere in the country, flower-sellers, chocolatiers, restaurateurs and hoteliers are all doing a roaring trade.

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Events, This Day In History | , , | Leave a comment

Preserving Auschwitz?

For many, the everlasting power of Auschwitz is understood only by visiting the infamous death camp and walking the grounds where more than 1 million people were killed during the Holocaust.

Krakow Tours and Transfers

The problem, according to two local architects, is in assuming the camp itself will be everlasting. As survivors continue to die and the camp’s structures continue to decay, there remains the question of how and what to preserve of Auschwitz, and how visitors — currently more than 1 million annually — will interact with the site in the years and centuries to come.

via Preserving Auschwitz? | Los Angeles | Jewish Journal.

February 13, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , | Leave a comment

Wieliczka Salt Mine – Poland

wieliczka salt mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine is probably the most amazing mine in the world.

A very popular destination, the mine is located just east of Krakow and has been the driving force behind the city’s former wealth and influence. The mine has been producing salt for 700 years and now stretches to over 200km of tunnels over 9 levels.

Guided tours are compulsory – these are run regularly in English as well as less often for other languages. The tours last at least two hours – up to three in the busiest times of year – and involves a 2km walk through the mine, beginning with a dizzying 378 step descent down one of the shafts to the third level.

The mine was carved out by hand and is a maze of tunnels and chambers. Some of the wooden pit props are so old that with the weight of the ground above have compressed to the hardness of stone. The whole area is eerily lit, with the salt crystal walls surprisingly dark. Narrow tunnels lead to huge chambers, some with other entrances way above accessed by catwalk. The pit props are at times like a work of art, holding up the ceiling like a vaulted cathedral. Statues line the route, all carved from salt in intricate detail as the tour take you deeper in to the mine.

The highlight of the tour is the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, patron saint of Poland. One of several chapels set in the mine complex, the entire chamber was hewn by hand from solid rock salt. This underground temple took over 30 years to complete and involved the removal of of 20,000 tonnes of rock salt. Everything in the room is made of salt, including the chandeliers and altarpieces. The pulpit is carved as a mountain with a castle wall, while carved panels depict Christian scenes in great detail.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is truly a unique place to visit – from the slow descent and maze of passageways to the huge vaulted chambers and speedy ascent in the lift. The Chapel of Blessed Kinga is truly stunning, a massive cathedral set a hundred metres underground.

via Wieliczka Salt Mine – Poland – Country Guide.

February 12, 2013 Posted by | Recommendations | , | Leave a comment

This week at the Irish Mbassy


Irish Mbassy

This Week’s Line-Up:

MONDAY – 11.02

Hiberian Vs St. Johnstone – 20:30

Liverpool Vs West Bromwich – 21:00

TUESDAY – 12.02

Leicester City Vs Huddersfield Town – 20:30

Celtic Vs Juventus – 20:45


Real Madrid Vs Man Utd – 20:45

Shakhtar Donetsk Vs Borussia Dortmund – 20:45

♥ THURSDAY – 14.02 – PUB QUIZ ♥

Sparta Prague Vs Chelsea – 19:00

Spurs Vs Lyon – 21:05

Newcastle Utd Vs Metalist Kharkiv – 21:05

FRIDAY – 15.02 – KARAOKE 😀

Tranmere Rovers Vs Shrewsbury Town – 20:45


Warrington Wolves Vs Catalan Dragon – 21:00

via Facebook.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Events, Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Cost of Living Comparison – Krakow vs Leeds

I’m often asked about the cost of living in Poland, I’ve found a great website where you can compare any 2 cities.

Here’s a sample comparing Krakow to where I used to live, Leeds.


Consumer Prices in Leeds are 96.91% higher than in Krakow
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Leeds are 87.76% higher than in Krakow
Rent Prices in Leeds are 62.08% higher than in Krakow
Restaurant Prices in Leeds are 182.99% higher than in Krakow
Groceries Prices in Leeds are 99.36% higher than in Krakow
Local Purchasing Power in Leeds is 100.59% higher than in Krakow

See the rest of the comparison HERE


February 9, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Krakow in global top 10 of outsourcing destinations

Krakow has broken into the top 10 of the world’s most attractive locations for outsourcing investments.

According to the 2013 edition of Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations, an annual report by Tholons, a global strategic advisory firm. The city moved up one notch to be ranked 10th in the world, thus becoming the first destination from Eastern Europe ever to make the company’s Top 10 Emerged Cities list.

Two other Polish cities were ranked in Tholons’ Top 100 list. Warsaw climbed two notches to 36th, whereas Wroclaw jumped up three places to 75th.

via Krakow enters global top 10 of outsourcing destinations – Investments – Business Portal for Poland.

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Krakow In Your Pocket

Click cover to view or download the latest edition of

Krakow In Your Pocket

Or if you prefer a hard copy, order below.


February 8, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Mbassy – What’s on this weekend


FRIDAY – Karaoke with Mikey!


Watford Vs Crystal Palace – 20:45


Wigan Warriors Vs Warrington Wolves – 21:00

SATURDAY – Live music with THE BEERTONES!!

Beertones 1


Inverness CT Vs Celtic – 13:00

Spurs Vs Newcastle Utd – 13:45

Sunderland Vs Arsenal – 16:00

Southampton Vs Man City – 18:30

Real Madrid Vs Sevilla – 22:00


Scotland Vs Italy – 15:30

France Vs Wales – 18:00


Cork Vs Kildare – 20:00


Herlequins Vs London Wasps – 21:00



Aston Villa Vs West Ham Utd – 14:30

Man Utd Vs Everton – 17:00

Athletico Bilbao Vs Espanyol – 19:00


Ireland Vs England – 16:00


Dewsbury Rams Vs Featherstone Rovers – 19:00

via Facebook.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

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