The holocaust of Krakow’s Jews began at the end of May 1942 together with checking Kennkarte which allowed for staying in the ghetto. The purpose of this initiative was to select people staying illegally in the ghetto. German occupational authorities had a rule, according to which, the unemployed and people over 55 years of age were to be expelled. Thus, a valid stamp confirming the employment was a determining factor. On the night of 30th/31st May 1942, the first group of Jews was gathered at Plac Zgody only to be sent to the Bełżec camp two days later. The initiative continued until June. Following Elżbieta Rączy’s words in her book ” Zagłada Żydów w dystrykcie krakowskich w latach 1939-1945” (Holocaust of the Jews in the Krakow district during 1939-1945), around 120-300 people were murdered on the spot, while between 5,000 – 7,000 were deported to Bełżec. After the expulsion, the total number of people living in the Krakow ghetto was reduced down to 12,5000 .
Picture courtesy of the Institute of the National Remembrance.