Before World War II, the museum building was used as a mill. The establishment of the museum is really attributed to its founding director, photojournalist Chris Schwarz, whose partnership with British anthropologist Jonathan Webber, led not only to the Traces of Memory exhibit, but the opening of the museum. Chris drove from the UK to Poland and utilized the help of local friends to transform the old warehouse into a stunning museum. The renovated site retained many of the building’s original characteristics, which are complemented by the addition of metals, glass and dark wood that give the museum a contemporary feel, while playing tribute to its industrial past. Chris passed away prematurely in 2007 and since then the museum has worked hard to grow into the values that Chris instilled in the museum’s purpose: to share the complicated and fascinating culture of Jewish Polish Galicia.
The Galicia Jewish Museum is located in the Jewish heart of Kraków, in the district of Kazimierz. This innovative institution celebrates the culture and history of Jewish Polish Galicia and serves as a remembrance to the victims of the Holocaust. The stunning interiors and historic past have made this a popular venue for local performers, artists and musicians and hosts many culture and social events, thanks to the versatility of the space. Furthermore, as a registered Polish charity, the museum aims to educate Jews and Poles about their combined histories and challenge the stereotypes of the intricate past of Jews in Poland.