Formerly known as Concordia Square, this served as the central square of the Kraków ghetto and the deportation spot of Kraków Jews between 1941-43. The square was refurbished at the end of 2005 and the memorial installed. It features 33 large illuminated chairs in the square and 37 smaller chairs standing on the edge of the square and at the tram stops. The chairs represent the furniture and other remnants that were discarded on that very spot by the ghetto’s Jews as they were herded into the trains that would often take them to concentration camps.
One of the memorial’s designers, Piotr Lewicki, said: “First, a quarter of the town’s residents had to leave their homes and go to the closed-off area of Podgórze. Then the ghetto was reduced in size, and the people were divided according to whether or not they could work, whether they were sick or healthy etc. As a result people were constantly resettling, bringing all their belongings with them. They also took chairs with them, the furniture closest to the body. When the ghetto was liquidated, the Jews had to move to the Płaszów camp, and anything that wasn’t needed remained in the square. We wanted to draw reference to that moment precisely. There must have been an incredible silence, it must have been completely empty.” (Photo by Jennifer Boyer via Flickr.com. Used under Creative Commons 2.0 License)