In 2007 the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, branch „Pomorska Street”, for the citizens of Kraków and the Little Poland region, initialized annual’s celebrations of the Memorial Day in honour of the victims of the Gestapo in memory of the tragic history of the house at 2 Pomorska Street.
The celebrations take place in September because of the anniversary of taking over the Silesian House by German Police Formations (September 13th, 1939). The veterans, representatives of government and local authorities, guard of honour of the Polish Army, military orchestra, students from Kraków’s schools and citizens of Kraków and the Little Poland region, all participate in the ceremonies. The celebration’s agenda includes a ceremonial parade in memorial of victims of the Gestapo, laying flowers on the plaque at the front of the Silesian House at 2 Pomorska Street, archive movie shows and lectures performed by employees of the Pomorska Street branch.
On September 13th 1939, a few days after the Wehrmacht Armed Forces had invaded Krakow, on the 13th of September 1939, the building of the Silesian House was taken over by the German police formations and until the 17th January of 1945 it was a headquarter of the Secret State Police and the Security Services in the Kraków’s region. The 4th department of the headquarters was the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei) – Gestapo. Today, in the building at Pomorska Street, the museum exercises protection over the historic cells of the Gestapo’s arrest. The cells with surviving inscriptions of prisoners are a shocking proof of German occupation of the city.
In rooms of the 1st and 2nd floor of the building at Pomorska Street took place interrogations of arrested by the officers of the Nazi Security Service people. They usually were brought here directly from the places they had been detained, but also from the prison at Montelupich Street – another building adapted to the needs of the German Police. In the cellars of the Silesian House, with a bulkhead separating a huge basement area (before 1939 there were food storehouse and canteen of the Silesian House) the Gestapo arranged a temporary prison – three small cells (a little more than 24 square meters), a corridor and toilets, with an entrance from the courtyard side. Unfortunately none of the German documents stating what was happening in the Silesian House for five years of German occupation have endured. The facts we know come from people who have survived horrible tortures inflicted upon prisoners. Even nowadays we don’t know precise number of people (not only Polish) who experienced Gestapo’s imprisonment at the Pomorska Street.