Despite the high levels of education and exposure to the atrocities of the holocaust, nothing can quite prepare you for what you’ll see in Poland. Learning facts, reading testimonies and watching documentaries doesn’t even begin to compare to seeing the sights with your own eyes. We’ll never forget casting out eyes on Majdanek Concentration Camp for the first time. The sheer contrast between the pristinely kept relic of destruction in the middle of the bustling city of Lublin perfectly mirrors Poland, a bright present with a dark past. The journey we took was a powerful one. We learnt about the rich Jewish heritage embedded in early 1900s.
Poland in Warsaw, experienced the deep, spiritual side of Judaism from Lublin to the pain and tremendous suffering in Auschwitz. We saw the thriving centre of Jewish life come to an abrupt standstill. But most importantly, we saw the rebirth of the Jewish community in Krakow. The solemn experience challenged our views on society and human nature itself, but as we walked out the gates of Auschwitz Birkenau, we realized how blessed we truly are to be free to live Jewish lives today.
By Joshua Mauice, Noa Lightman and Jake Segal