Krakow: City carrying scars of Nazi occupation now crackles with bohemian spirit; Rathina Sankari; The Economic Times


Poland – Cracow’s Historic Centre

Polish weather is unpredictable,” said Emilia Kubik, my host in Poland, as I peered through the train window to bask in the warmth of the summer. It was a three-hour journey from Warsaw to Krakow, but I was in no hurry as Emilia kept me engaged with her childhood stories from the communist era.

Poland in Central Europe has had a turbulent history and been a victim of changing borders due to several invasions from Russia, Prussia and the Ottoman Empire. The final alteration was the aftereffect of World War II: modern-day Poland is an outcome of the Potsdam Conference of 1945.

In 1939, when World War II erupted, Krakow was home to 70,000 affluent Jews living in Kazimierz district located in the outskirts of the city. This suburb on the Vistula River was named after its founder, Casimir III, in 1335.

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