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For years, the branch employees have been researching the history of Krakow during the German occupation and Stalinism. For several years, the Museum has been working with the Małopolska Association of History Lovers “Rawelin”. The aim of our partnership is to promote the history of Krakow during the German occupation. In November 2006, our cooperation resulted in the opening of an air-raid shelter.

Building at 2 Pomorska Street was built between 1931 and 1936 on the initiative of the Association for Defense of Western Borderlands. It housed a dormitory and a tourist hostel for Silesian youth studying and visiting Krakow (hence the name of the Silesian House).

On 13 September 1939, the building was occupied by German police formations, and until 17 January 1945, it was the Headquarters of the Security Police and Security Service of the Krakow district.

After the war, the Silesian House was transferred under the administration of the National Defense League, which, over time, became the formal owner of the facility. Since 1981, it has been the only place of national remembrance in Krakow during World War II, which has been covered by museum care.

Cells with prisoners’ inscriptions

Between 1939 and 1945, the Silesian House was the Headquarters of the Security Police and Security Service of the Krakow district, whose division IV was the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei), Gestapo. In Krakow, Gestapo was the main tool of the occupation terror for the Polish and Jewish population of the city.

Throughout the occupation, the building of the Silesian House was the place of suffering and martyrdom of thousands of Poles and people of other nationalities (the exact number of prisoners is unknown).

Here, in the rooms on the first and second floor, people, most often brought from the prison in Montelupich Street, were questioned. Part of the basement, converted into cells, was used as a detention centre. Gestapo officers subjected prisoners to brutal and sadistic physical and mental torture, which often led to disability or death of the people subjected to questioning.


On the walls of three rooms used as prison cells, inscriptions from 1943-1945, made by the people arrested and questioned here, have been preserved. The prisoners included representatives of all social groups, of different political beliefs, arrested for acts against the occupants and their policy, the German “work of rebuilding the General Government”.