Monday, March 23, 2015

The Rest of The Week

Going to visit the monuments (chair square and memorial) was for me very powerful and moving because it showed that we are at least moving somewhat forward in our honor and respect for the victims of the Shoah and it seemed like a hopeful sign for the future. We were able to witness the second part of this course, the teaching of respect which helped me to see how we are moving closer to respect of other cultures and other people’s struggles. It helped me today to see the different structures in the ghetto to be able to visualize the ghetto. It was so inspirational to hear about the several acts of resistance within the ghetto and the ways in which the victims were able to fight back with and cause even a little bit of pain for the Nazis. I think today was very important because it showed the many inspiring stories within the ghetto and that was important to hear to lift our spirits and raise our much lowered view of humanity after visiting Auschwitz.

Another really helpful experience was the reflection seminar that tried to answer many of the questions that people have after learning about the Holocaust. I found it really interesting to see the various viewpoints people had on the questions asked, especially the survivors, because I was interested in seeing how people who had been through such a traumatic terrible event, were able to deal with these issues and answer these questions. Additionally, going to the art exhibit the Labyrinth by the artist survivor was moving and heart wrenching at the same time. There was a lot of Satan, skeleton and muselman imagery. It was amazing to see how detailed it was and how much time and effort was put into continuing the remembrance of the Shoah even through a stroke.

 I think going to the Shabbat service on Friday was a perfect summation to our trip and left it in a hopeful positive note after we had all been through such an emotional, and heart wrenching trip. It showed that there is hope in the future for Jewish-Christian relations in the fact that we were able to go and experience Shabbat with them. The fact that they were open to teaching it to us even after we (I) messed up multiple times shows the hope for the future in that we can see the differences in our religion which aren’t many and accept it. It was really interesting learning about their customs from being someone who doesn’t know a lot about the Jewish religion. Overall, I think we needed this ending to show that there is hope for the future and that we have come a far way from the holocaust but still need to continue to improve and change for the better.-----Grace Watters


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