Seventy-five years after the Nazis deported Krakow Jews to concentration camps, descendants of survivors opened the Polish city’s first post-Holocaust kosher hotel.
Hotel Polin opened last month but had have an official launch on Saturday, Dec. 16. The 38-room hotel has an in-house synagogue and elevators programmed for use on Shabbat without breaking Jewish Orthodox law. Its kosher kitchen is under the supervision of the Polish chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, the hotel’s manager, Eli Zolkos, told JTA. Plans call for a mikvah, or ritual bath. A double room at the hotel, which is located near John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice, including breakfast costs approximately $45 per night, Zolkos said. The hotel offers shuttles to the city center, to the historically Jewish Kazimierz district, approximately six miles away. Zolkos said the hotel’s business model is based on growing traffic between Israel and Poland.
The Nazi occupation forces in Poland at first expelled tens of thousands of Jews from Krakow. They began the deportations of the city’s remaining Jews to death camps in May 1942, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Jews were shot in the ghetto, while the others were dragged out of their homes and put on trains to Belzec and Auschwitz-Birkenau. In March 1943 the ghetto was liquidated, and the remaining 2,000 Jewish workers were taken to the nearby Plaszow forced labor camp. All the others were deported to Auschwitz.