I am a historian. It's very safe for you to assume that I've visited plenty of museums in my time. I will categorically state that this was the best of them all.
It had everything. Exhibits of original artifacts; information displayed on the walls; computerized screens to delve further into facets that caught your eye; video footage; reconstructed scenes in rooms; audio testimony; interactive elements too.
Your journey through the Oskar Schindler Factory begins with a huge room, all about Krakow on the eve of World War II. You see a refined city, where an elegant, multicultural population exist peacefully side by side.
This had once been Poland's capital city. Its monarchs and saints were buried in the cathedral on the hill. Krakow was a place where the intelligentsia gathered, many of them attending one of the oldest universities in Europe.
Then Germany invaded.
Polish men and women flocked to enlist, in order to defend their city as soldiers. The English bombed ancient buildings. Nazi Occupation began in force. Dissenters were arrested, executed or disappeared. Jews were stripped of rights, homes and property, herded into the Ghetto and concentration camps, then taken for extermination. And finally the Red Army appeared on the horizon. Poland, and Krakow with it, was now a Communist state.
There is an epic tale to tell in Krakow's Museum of Wartime.
Inside the Oskar Schindler Factory, each new room or corridor has something new to fascinate and inform. The museum doesn't set out merely to explain what happened. It wants to take you there.
Even now I still get goosebumps, remembering how I wandered down a staircase to encounter a black door locked at its foot. A sturdy door, lined with bolts, and too thick to easily break down. The whispers and sobs from within. A man's agonized moan. A women's hushed, urgent voice repeating words in a cadence that could only have been a prayer. And a peep-hole that I feared to look through.
The Wartime Museum of Krakow is designed to bring moments of history to life, and it fully succeeds at that. Visit it, and give yourself three or four hours to fully explore its mysteries and treasures. You will not be disappointed.