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Monday, April 11, 2016

Heritage Trip to Poland 2016/5776: Day 1

Today, 21 Yeshivah of Flatbush seniors along with Rabbi Lubner and Ms. Zaltzman arrived in Poland for our annual Senior Heritage Trip to Poland. After a nine hour flight, Flatbush students finally arrived in Warsaw, Poland. We started our meaningful Heritage experience by visiting the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial. We were not only able to see, but feel the history along the walking route; the memorials of physical and spiritual defiance against the Germans and two buildings that were built pre-war that are still standing and being used for positive uses rather than the evil permeating within the walls during the war. There was also Mila 18, a bunker that was eradicated by the Germans during Passover of 1943. The Germans had gassed the bunker and stood waiting to shoot any unsuspecting fighter that tried to escape.
Soon we went back on the bus to go to Treblinka, a death camp, where nearly all but about 100 Polish Jews in the surrounding areas had died. We followed the story of Abraham Bomba, one of the few that survived and was plagued by what he saw and experienced in Treblinka. We walked around the memorial park and saw stones representing different communities that were destroyed. We commemorated those who were killed in Treblinka by saying Tehilim next to the memorial of the pyres where all the bodies were burned. We listened to the sounds of silence and our own breathing; achieving a silence like never before in respect for all of those who had perished.
We have just arrived at our hotel, housed near the esteemed Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. After many waking hours, we will rest in anticipation for what lies ahead tomorrow. ~Esty Fromer