The inaugural Poland trip of “In Humanity’s Footsteps“ was everything we had hoped for… meaningful, powerful and important. Every one of the 27 program participants, young and old, were moved and informed by what we experienced. All learned important lessons about the Holocaust… and about themselves.
Our journey took us to death camps, museums, memorials, mass graves, personal meetings and more. Each facet of the program built upon the next… everyone learned the horror of the process behind the greatest crime of the 20th century.
Following an important visit to the Polin Museum, our trip began at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Warsaw Uprising Memorials. Things got deep quickly, as Thanksgiving dinner ended with hearing the touching and inspiring the story of our Holocaust Survivor Sam Peltz… a dialogue that lasted two hours! Everyone left that room feeling more thankful for the blessings we all share.
The next morning’s program with Polish High School students was followed by a visit to the Majdanek death camp. Learning the camp realities… standing in front of a ten- ton pile of human ash was sobering. Our evening sharing session reflected that everyone was deeply affected by the experience.
The following day’s visits to a museum honoring a Polish family who died for hiding Jews, to the site of a mass grave, a tour of Krakow’s Jewish quarter and a discussion with Zosia, a female Holocaust survivor, and Krakow’s Rabbi at the JCC helped prepare us for Auschwitz- Birkenau.
Our final day’s tour of the Factory of Death was intense… touching, disturbing and frightening… raising as many questions as it answered. The impact of our visit is best described by the students, in the following composite of some of their Thank You notes:
“I want to thank you for the most amazing and unreal experience I’ve ever had. I learned so much about the Holocaust… We didn’t waste one moment on our trip. This trip was deeply transformative for me. Not only did I learn about history, but I grew as a person.”
“This experience will stay with me throughout my life. I am proud to have been a part of this program and I will continue to spread the same message of remembrance and respect. I will never forget this experience… I hope others will get this opportunity. Thank you!”