Poland Trip Spring 2018
“I spent a week in Poland on the Jeff Seidel Student Mission learning and experiencing the horrific truth of the Holocaust.
While I have learned about the Holocaust throughout my life nothing compares to this experience. Seeing the pits where innocent children were shot into, the barracks where thousands were forced to live in unbearable conditions, the crematoriums where bodies were burned, the gas chambers, and the land where 6 million Jews were killed.
We saw the faces of young children getting deported to Auschwitz, women holding their babies while being sent to gas chambers, silent and afraid. We saw thousands of suitcases, smaller than most of our weekend bags, labeled with names, dates, and once holding an individuals most precious items. We stared at the tiny shoes that were just a shoe amongst millions.
These shoes, suitcases, photos, are all that’s left of 6 million people, including 1.5 million children, whose lives were cut way too short and whose many stories remain unknown.
Each of these 6 million people had names, dreams and hopes. Just like us. But they were killed, solely because they were Jewish.
So many emotions arose over the trip: sadness from the loss of innocent lives, anger and disgust that a human could commit such horrors and be filled with such senseless hate, and pride, that despite all that we have faced, the Jewish people have a place to call our home. Myself, along with the 38 others on the trip, were able to leave the camps, and return to the State of Israel. The Jewish homeland.
My week in Poland has changed my outlook on life and what it means to be Jewish. I am sharing this because it is important to never forget the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust and the survivors who are no longer around to share their stories. It is now our responsibility to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself, to educate the future generations, and make sure their legacy’s and stories live on.”