The Eagle Pharmacy
pl. Bohaterów Getta 18
Tadeusz Pankiewicz could not possibly have foreseen while taking over his father’s pharmacy that he would make history together with the enterprise.
A slender, not-so-tall man with dark hair that is often combed back in photographs, this pipe-smoking fellow did not look like a hero. Yet he was indeed just that. When in 1941 the Nazi German government turned Podgórze into a ghetto for the Jewish people of Kraków, a Pole, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a pharmacist with a diploma from the Jagiellonian University, made sure he obtained a permit to continue running his pharmacy situated on the premises of the ghetto, in Zgody square (today’s Bohaterów Getta Square 18). He justified his request by pointing out that the only pharmacy in the ghetto would prove helpful in the case of an epidemic. Open 24/7, the pharmacy was the secret meeting place of the underground, and a contact point where food and medications were delivered to the people living in the ghetto. Shelter was provided here and false documents arranged.
Tadeusz Pankiewicz became the witness of the end of the Jewish ghetto in Kraków: first, two savage deportations (June and October 1942), and later its brutal liquidation on 13 and 14 March 1943, during which the inhabitants capable of physical labour were concentrated in the Płaszów camp. Meanwhile, the elderly, ailing and unemployed, as well as children and mothers who decided to stay with them, and physicians who remained with their patients to the end were either executed or deported to the death camp in Auschwitz.
Recollections of these dark days can be found in Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s shocking book Pharmacy in the Kraków Ghetto. His account, complemented by other accounts, diaries, and testimonies from the days of the Holocaust, provided material for the permanent exhibition Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s Pharmacy in Kraków Ghetto (branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków). The drawers of the faithfully recreated pharmacy interiors contain exhibits, photographs, and documents for the visitor, recounting the tale of the horrible events that once took place in what today is Bohaterów Getta Square (“the square of the heroes of the ghetto”, literally), and in the neighbouring streets.
Along with Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory and Ulica Pomorska, the place is part of the Remembrance Route of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków.
Tickets: regular PLN 10, concessions PLN 8, family PLN 20, free entry on Mondays
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