Traces of Memory

A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland January 17th to March 29th 2010

Traces of Memory is the permanent exhibition of the Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, and is currently travelling in the UK as part of Polska! Year. The exhibition features photographs by the late British photojournalist Chris Schwarz (1948-2007), the founder of the Galicia Jewish Museum, with research and texts by Prof. Jonathan Webber (UNESCO Chair of Jewish and Interfaith Studies, University of Birmingham, UK).

For over twelve years, Schwarz and Webber travelled together village by village, town by town, across southern Poland, discovering and documenting the traces of the Jewish past that were still visible in the Polish landscape. The exhibition uses contemporary photographs to piece together a picture of these traces, interpreting them in a manner which is informative, accessible, and thought-provoking. It is divided into five sections, corresponding to the different ways in which the subject can be approached, and offers a lament for the destroyed Jewish civilization that once flourished in this country, remembers the locations where that annihilation took place, and gives credit to commemorative efforts that have occurred since the Holocaust.


Photographs:       Chris Schwarz                                                      Research and texts:          Jonathan Webber

© Galicia Jewish Museum

                                                                 A beautifully decorated, meticulously restored  eighteenth-century synagogue



                                                           Image of a shattered world: a memorial wall made of fragments of smashed Jewish tombstones