Crime Spiral. Cracovians on Death Posters

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Saturday, May 25, 2024 - Sunday, June 1, 2025

The Museum of Krakow would like to invite you to the new temporary exhibition at the Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory.

 From the very beginning of the German occupation, terror was a permanent fixture in the daily lives of Cracovians.

It was also the main instrument of German politics implementation in the General Government. In the autumn of 1943 Germans moved away from their previous policy of undercover murders and decided to terrorise the ‘resistant population’. From November 1943 information about the executed was placed on the so-called ‘death posters’ plastered over the cities in the General Government. They listed the names of hostages and prisoners sentenced to capital punishment for acts committed against the occupying power. The announcements included also the names of people that were already executed. The publication of announcements was linked to Hans Frank's ordinance of 2 October 1943, ‘On counteracting the attempts to impede the German Reconstruction Plan.’ From autumn 1943 to January 1945 a few dozens mass executions were conducted in Kraków. The psychological effect of terrorising achieved with public massacres was reinforced by sizeable, colourful death posters fixed in public spaces.

The exhibition ‘Crime Spiral. Cracovians on Death Posters’ tells the tragic fate of Kraków citizens whose names were listed on death posters. The exhibits include, among others, original announcements, testimonies provided by victims’ family members, memorabilia left by those executed, documents from institutions investigating the period of German occupation in Kraków.

Theme-wise the exposition focuses on the period of German occupation in Kraków, that is from 6 September 1939, when German army entered Kraków, until the Red Army entered the city on 18 January 1945. The main focus of the exhibition is the period between years 1943 and 1945 when the so-called death posters were used. Final sections of the exhibition concern the issues of memory, commemoration and processes following 1945, reaching to the present day.



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