Sunday, March 15, 2015

First day in Poland! Shristi Gajurel

After travelling for almost 11 hours we arrived at Krakow, Poland. We then took a bus to the Center where we will be staying for the next 10 days. Our center is called “Center for Dialogue and Prayer” which is located in Oswiecim.  The center is associated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City which we had visited a couple of weeks ago. The center was founded by Cardinal Macarski in 1992. I was fascinated by their hospitality and love for what they do and serve AWESOME meals!!  Someone that absolutely struck me was Sister Mary O’Sullivan. Sister Mary was our guide for the day and gave us amazing background of the city and made us feel at home. Even though we were extremely exhausted from our flight and traveling, Prof. Procario-Foley made sure that we made the best out of our first day in Poland so we continued as planned.
Before coming to Oswiecim we somewhat knew what we were getting ourselves into but no reading can compare to the firsthand experience that you experience in the city of Oswiecim. Our first trip was at the museum of the Jewish heritage at Auschwitz. At the museum we learned lot about Jewish Heritage and Jewish life in Oswiecim before Holocaust and it was amazing to see that most of the residents of that town were Jewish before Holocaust and now not one residents of Jewish faith reside there.
Something else that really struck was visiting a Jewish Cemetery which was destroyed by Nazis in 1939. It was so hard for me to believe that a human would destroy another humans resting place. None of the gravestone were in there right place and most of them were given number as an identification and it was absolutely tragic. Martin Luther King, Jr once said “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people” and today really made me to reflect on his words. The Holocaust (Shoah) and what happened in Oswiecim is mostly the result of bad people’s actions but it is also the reflection of good people who did not stand up for other people’s rights.


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