Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We are in Lodz Poland, in another Andel's hotel, much like the one we stayed in in Krackow. However we are in a place that was once all factories and the factories have been renovated into living quarters, a huge mall around the corner, and this hotel. The ambiance is very different as walls of the factory have been blended into the decor of the hotel. Around the corner is the castle of a famous Polish Jewish family who were the richest people in Poland during the early 19th-20 century. The factories were mostly textiles.
Today we visited the location of the ghetto in Kielce and a the place where 42 men, women and children were murdered by the Nazi's after the war was already over. A cemetery where the remains were buried remains locked because of vandalism, was opened for us today, Only 2 weeks ago a memorial was opened to memorialize the children. The 'sunken' Menorah is a memorial in the town to represent the fallen Jews of this town, and is located where the ghetto once stood.
The evening was spent with the group reflecting on the last few days. Those that chose to speak spoke of their feelings about Auschwitz and the other death camps we visited. I, for one, spoke of the bond created by the women with Elaine, and Elaine elaborated in the stories of her mother and grand parents. Tomorrow we will visit only a few sites and have the afternoon free, We will have one more place to visit on Friday then we will be heading back to Washington DC.
This trip has truly changed my life, and how I look at everyday items as simple as, a hair brush, a comb, a toothbrush etc. Anti Antisemitism is unfortunately alive and well in the world. Just today I saw a 'doll' of a Hasidic man holding a coin, the implication is obvious and the doll is common here as a good luck charm that the Jew with the money will bring money into your home. In addition- although there are no swastikas on walls, or as graffiti, depiction of a hangman's gallows with Jewish stars hanging from them are used when writing negative things about sports opponents.
Have we come very far???
enjoy the photos of this hotel we have a see through glass bathroom which I will post tomorrow