On 30th April 1959, the ceremony of handing over the Old Synagogue by the Jewish Congregation in Krakow (currently the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow) to the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow took place. One of the photos shows the Chairman of the then Congregation, Maciej Jakubowicz.
After the establishment of the Podgórze ghetto followed by the resettlement of all Jews living in Kraków to it, the German Trust Office took over the management of the Synagogue. A uniform warehouse was organised in the Synaogue, while all liturgical items were stolen. However, the warehouse did not last for too long and was soon liquidated. Afterwards, the Old Synagogue was deliberately deprived of its vault. After WWII, the Synagogue was provisionally secured. However, it was only in 1956 when a decison was made to restore and turn the Synagogue into a museum. The key person behind the restoration of the Synagogue was dr Bolesław Drobner (1883-1969), son of Roman and Anna, nee Fieschler. Drobner was a social activist, dotor of chemistry, head of the Ministry of Labour, Social Welfare and Heath of the Polish Commitee of National Liberation, the first post-war Mayor of Wrocław (1945), member of the Legislative Sejm and the Sejm of the People’s Republic of Poland of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th term, and most importantly, the chairman of the Commission of Culture of the National Council of the City of Krakow. Drobner was a strong advocate of Krakow cultural development. It was thanks to his initiative that the Social Fund for the Protection of Krakow Monuments and the Krakow Cultural Center were established. The Ethnographic Museum received a new HQ and a new exhibition pavilion was erected for the Bureau of Art Exhibitions. Having close ties with Piwnica pod Baranami, he helped with its opening and during the first years of its operation.
The Synagogue was renovated between 1956-1959 based on the project prepared by PKZ. A renovated building of the Old Synagogue was handed over by its owner, the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow to the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow for its use and for the purpose of a division dedicated to the Jewish history and culture.
Read more: Ostoja Tradycji, Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa, Kraków 2016, p. 107-109
Photos: Museum of Krakow