I wanted to add a bit about the afternoon as we spent 8 hours on the bus from Berlin to Warsaw. We arrived to the magnificent Bristol Hotel which is in the heart of Warsaw- a bustling metropolis- and sits literally next door to the Royal Palace. Warsaw is also the birthplace of Frederick Chopin, whose heart is buried in a near by church. We will be attending a Chopin concert tomorrow evening.
As I was on the bus I felt as if I was entering the "belly of the beast" since so many Jews who had once lived a normal life with their friends, families, occupations, etc were sent to their deaths. Poland lost more than three million Jews- the largest proportion in Europe. I also felt that I had gone from feast to famine having been in Israel wearing the Star of David proudly and openly to feeling a bit uncomfortable wearing it openly here,( although I am). Culture shock in only three short days.
Tomorrow we will have another busy day visiting the Warsaw ghetto and several other sites including the Nosyk synagogue.
Our schedule is challenging and everyday I am gaining more insight wlong with my new friends and colleagues.