Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ready For Poland -Maria Wik

My mother and I in Switzerland from this past summer.
My name is Maria Wik, and I am currently a sophomore at Iona College. I’m studying Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations. Traveling has always been a passion of mine. I went on my first European adventure when I was only 7. From then on out I have been pulled to travel and explore new places, experience new cultures and learn about the local history.  I find history to be quite fascinating because even the events of yesterday build the foundations to the events to come tomorrow.

 I come from a family with mixed nationalities and religions, for example my father’s mother is Jewish and I am Catholic. Since the first time I learned about the Shoah, more commonly known as the Holocaust, I wanted to know more.  With this being said, it only seems right for myself to have such a strong desire to go to a concentration camp and fully immerse myself in the history and culture of not only the camp but also the local culture.

When I tell people I am spending my spring break in Auschwitz, I get two types of responses. There is one response that is just the confused stare followed by “That will be fun.”, while on the other hand there are the people who ask questions and talk about how life changing this will be. I still find myself in disbelief that I am leaving in 3 days. Everything I’ve heard, read and watched will now be right in front of me, it will all be real. In class the other day we were talking about things we are worried about and the most common response was just that, ‘it will be real’. The things we’ve watched in the movies will no longer be just anther Hollywood exaggeration; it will be show stopping real.
I find myself with so many emotions. I am experiencing excitement and dread, eagerness to learn but also fear for the brutal truth. At the end of the day, however, I could not be happier to be going. I will be surrounded by a group of friends who are just as passionate about this as I am.  I hope that in the next two weeks I get answers to the questions I have been asking my whole life.


  1. Sending my prayers for growth and discovery as you set out on your journey, Maria.I am excited to learn through your experiences!

    Blessings, Cousin Karen

  2. You will learn so much on this trip! I will follow your blog and look forward to see what you are learning.

    I have not been to Auschwitz, but I have been to Dachau. I see it clearly as I write this and will never forget the visit. There was a man there, standing by the ovens, speaking to anyone who would listen about how he lost his family. He feared people would forget. And I do think some have. He was an old man, and may be with God now. But I will never forget him or his message. You will have the best trip. So much history and sorrow, but not all sorrow. Learn all you can and do lots of writing here!

  3. Maria - I am so proud of you for seeking this opportunity to more fully understand the atrocities that hateful people imposed on others when left unchallenged by civilization. I look forward to hearing about your experiences. Love, Grandpa

  4. Maria,
    Learn as much as you can handle. You are in a place that is hard to comprehend-evil, love between family members, survival, hate, death and maybe even forgiveness...many emotions to process. We love you and look forward to your return. Love, Aunt Barbara and Uncle Glenn