Students

Poland Trip 2018 - Tuesday

The day began with a visit to The Great Synagogue of Tikocyn (Tiktin) where we saw relics of the older Jewry of Poland as well as signs of German occupation during the war. Sadly, there is no longer a Jewish community in Tiktin, so the synagogue is now used as a memorial for the thriving community that existed before the war, and no longer as a synagogue. We then toured the town of Tiktin which has been preserved in order to retain the atmosphere of the old Shtetl. In the forest of Lupochowa, Ada shared a beautiful eulogy to honor her great grandparents and great aunt who lived in the village. We then travelled to Jedwabne where we learned about the Polish massacre of Jews that occurred there in 1941. Upon arrival at the Treblinka memorial, we learned the schematics of the camp and then set off to view the memorial. We learned about life in the camp, and heard a testimonial by one of its only survivors. We each received a name and biography of someone who perished during the war and recited Yizkor. At the end of our time there, we stopped by the memorial for Januzs Korczak, and heard about his unique educational personality. Later, at the top of Heroism street we analyzed the famous Rappaport memorial dedicated in 1948. The memorial is dual faceted, one side represents the passive means of survival, portraying the Jews as weak and helpless yet doing what they need to survive. The other side depicts the active physical resistance, displaying the strength of the Jews during the uprising. Afterwards, we discussed another memorial that was dedicated a year after the war ended. This memorial represents starting anew while also acknowledging the efforts of the uprising in Warsaw. We ended off the night in a debriefing session discussing our thoughts and feelings about the day.

Talia Montalto