Coordinates: 50°03′06″N 19°56′41″E / 50.05167°N 19.94472°E
The Kraków pogrom was a violent incident that occurred on 11 August 1945 in the Soviet-occupied city of Kraków, Poland. It formed part of a period of renewed anti-Jewish violence in Poland in the aftermath of World War II. Rumors spread that Jews in the city had killed up to 80 children over the course of weeks, which led to violence against them in the Kazimierz quarter of the city and the burning of the Kupa Synagogue. At least one person was killed and an unknown number were injured.
Around 68,000 to 80,000 Jews lived in Kraków before the September 1939 German invasion of Poland. Because of the Holocaust and further migration following the arrival of the Soviet Red Army, only 2,000 Jewish prewar inhabitants of the city were still present after January 1945. Many Jewish refugees returned to Kraków from the Soviet Union, including those who came from the neighbouring villages and towns.
By May 1945, the number of Jews in the city reached 6,637. The return of the Jewish population was not always welcomed, especially by the antisemitic elements in the populace. Anti-Jewish violence in Kraków was becoming a serious problem according to the Soviet-installed starosta in the city, even though "no serious antisemitic events were recorded in the rural and small-town regions." In his report for 1–10 August, the Kraków city administrator (starosta grodzki) noted the "insufficient supply of food." In June 1945, the new communist voivode of Kraków described in his report alleged growing tensions to his superiors.
On June 27, 1945, a Jewish woman was brought to a local Milicja Obywatelska police station and falsely accused of attempting to abduct a child. Despite the fact that the investigation revealed that the mother had left her child in the care of the suspect, rumours started to spread that a Jewish woman abducted a child in order to kill it. A mob shouting anti-Jewish slogans gathered at Kleparski square, but a Milicja detachment brought the situation under control. Blood libel rumours continued to spread. False claims that thirteen corpses of Christian children had been discovered were disseminated. By 11 August, the number of rumoured "victims" had grown to eighty. Groups of hooligans who gathered at Kleparski Square had been throwing stones at the Kupa Synagogue on a weekly basis. On 11 August an attempt to seize a thirteen-year-old boy who was throwing stones at the synagogue was made, but he escaped and rushed to the nearby marketplace screaming "Help me, the Jews have tried to kill me." Instantly the crowd broke into the Kupa synagogue and started beating Jews, who had been praying at the Saturday morning Shabbat service, and the Torah scrolls were burned. The Jewish hostel was also attacked. Jewish men, women, and children, were beaten up on the streets; their homes were broken into and robbed. Some Jews wounded during the pogrom were hospitalized and later were beaten in the hospitals again. One of the pogrom victims witnessed:
I was carried to the second precinct of the militia where they called for an ambulance. There were five more people over there, including badly wounded Polish woman. In the ambulance I heard the comments of the escorting soldier and the nurse who spoke about us as Jewish crust whom they have to save, and that they shouldn't be doing this because we murdered children, that all of us should be shot. We were taken to the hospital of St. Lazarus at Kopernika Street. I was first taken to the operating room. After the operation a soldier appeared who said that he will take everybody to jail after the operation. He beat up one of the wounded Jews waiting for an operation. He held us under cocked gun and did not allow us to take a drink of water. A moment later two railroadmen appeared and one said, "It's a scandal that a Pole does not have the civil courage to hit a defenceless person", and he hit a wounded Jew. One of the hospital inmates hit me with a crutch. Women, including nurses, stood behind the doors threatening us that they were only waiting for the operation to be over in order to rip us apart.
During the pogrom some Poles, mistaken for Jews, were also attacked. The centre of these events was Miodowa, Starowislna, Przemyska, and Jozefa Streets in the Kazimierz quarter. The riots were most intense between 11 am and 1 pm, calming down around 2 pm, only to regain strength in the late afternoon when the Kupa synagogue was set on fire. Polish policemen and soldiers actively participated in these events. Among twenty-five of those accused of inciting racial hatred, robberies, and violence against Jews, twelve were officers. According to the report prepared for Joseph Stalin by the NKVD in Kraków, it was Polish militiamen who sanctioned the violence.
There is one official record of a death relating to Kraków events in the archives of the Forensic Medicine Department in Kraków. The victim was 56-year-old Auschwitz survivor Róża Berger, shot while standing behind closed doors.
- ^ a b Marcin Zaremba Psychoza we krwi Archived 2012-05-25 at archive.today. Polityka 05.07.2006 reprint in Onet.pl
- ^ István Deák; Jan Tomasz Gross; Tony Judt (2000). The politics of retribution in Europe : World War II and its aftermath. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-691-00953-7. OCLC 43840165.
- ^ (in Polish) Tomasz Konopka "Śmierc na ulicach Krakowa w latach 1945–1947 w materiale archiwalnym krakowskiego Zakladu Medycyny Sadowej" – "Pamięć i Sprawiedliwość", IPN, 2005, nr 2, p. 148
- ^ (in Polish) 11 sierpnia 1945 roku doszło do rozruchów antyżydowskich. Rozruchy w Krakowie nie były tak tragiczne jak rok później w Kielcach, ale nie obyło się bez ofiary śmiertelnej. 56-letnia Róża Berger zginęła od strzału oddanego przez zamknięte drzwi. Sekcja zwłok, oprócz rany postrzałowej, wykazała wiele ran pochodzących od uderzeń rozbitego strzałem zamka. Tomasz Konopka, "Historia Krakowa pisana protokołami sekcyjnymi" available at www.forensic-medicine.pl 
- Cichopek, Anna (2000) Pogrom Żydów w Krakowie, 11 sierpnia 1945 r., Żydowski Instytut Historyczny. (in Polish)
- Cichopek, Anna (2003). "The Cracow pogrom of August 1945". In Joshua D. Zimmerman (ed.). Contested Memories: Poles and Jews During the Holocaust and Its Aftermath. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. pp. 221–238. ISBN 978-0813531588. OCLC 54961680.
- David Engel (1998). "Patterns Of Anti-Jewish Violence In Poland, 1944–1946" (PDF). Yad Vashem Studies Vol. XXVI. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem.
- Joanna Beata Michlic (2006). Poland's threatening other : the image of the Jew from 1880 to the present. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-8032-3240-2. OCLC 62302216.
- Pagacz-Moczarska, Rita (2004). "Okupowany Kraków – z prorektorem Andrzejem Chwalbą rozmawia Rita Pagacz-Moczarska" [Prof. Andrzej Chwalba talks about the Soviet-occupied Kraków]. Alma Mater (in Polish). Jagiellonian University (4). Archived from the original on 24 May 2008.
An interview with Andrzej Chwalba, Professor of history at the Jagiellonian University (and its prorector) in the online version of the Jagiellonian University's Bulletin Alma Mater. The article concerning World War II history of the city ("Occupied Krakow"), makes references to the fifth volume of History of Krakow entitled "Kraków in the years 1939–1945," see bibliogroup:"Dzieje Krakowa: Kraków w latach 1945–1989" in Google Books (ISBN 83-08-03289-3) written by Chwalba from a historical perspective, also cited in Google scholar.
- Julian Kwiek, "Wydarzenia antyżydowskie 11 sierpnia 1945 r. w Krakowie: dokumenty", in Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, nr 1/2000 str. 77–89. (in Polish)
- Magdalena Tytuła, Kielce na Kazimierzu, in Gazeta Wyborcza (local 'Gazeta w Krakowie'), August 11, 2000 (in Polish)
- Darisz Libionka, Recension of Anna Cichopek's book "Pogrom Żydów w Krakowie", in Pamięć i Sprawiedliwość, nr 1/2002 str. 179–182 (in Polish)
- Tomasz Konopka Śmierc na ulicach Krakowa w latach 1945–1947 w materiale archiwalnym krakowskiego Zakladu Medycyny Sadowej – "Pamięć i Sprawiedliwość", IPN, 2005, nr 2, p. 148 (in Polish)
- Bożena Szaynok (2005). "The Role of Antisemitism in Postwar Polish-Jewish Relations", in Robert Blobaum: Antisemitism And Its Opponents In Modern Poland. Cornell University Press. Retrieved on 21 March 2007. p. 272
- Marcin Zaremba "Psychoza we krwi" in Polityka 05.07.2006 reprint in Onet.pl (in Polish)
- Zimmerman, Joshua D. (2003). Contested Memories: Poles and Jews During the Holocaust and Its Aftermath. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 9780813531588.
- review of Stefan Grajek, Po wojnie i co dalej? Żydzi w Polsce, w latach 1945–1949], (translated from Hebrew by Aleksander Klugman), Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, Warszawa 2003 (in Polish)