The following are reflections by two of the San Diego participants at this year’s recent March of the Living, a 2 week journey to Poland and Israel. While in Poland, participants commemorate Yom HaShaoh, and while in Israel, they celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.
The dates for the 2019 March are April 28- May 22.
I hear birds chirp from the sky above and see butterflies flutter around the trees. I hope these are our people, watching and protecting us, and telling us their story, for us to never forget how their lives ended in such tragedy.
It is unfathomable to think such tragedy occurred in a place of peace, serenity, and quiet. I light a candle in memory of those who suffered here in Lupochowa, their lives will forever be in my heart and memory.
I notice that the flame of my candle had diminished. I wish that the flame, in memory of those lost, have rekindled the spark in the souls of those that perished.
Lastly, I realize that we get to walk out of Lupochowa Forrest with the weight of responsibility of sharing the stories of what occurred here.
Today was our last full day in Israel. Our last full day in our people’s country. Our country. The past few days we have been celebrating this country because of Yom Hatzmaoot, but today we focused on our ancestors who perished like we did in Poland. We started at Yad VaShem, the museum for the holocaust. Yad VaShem translates to hand of god, which is very symbolic to the Jewish people regarding the holocaust. We started at the remembrance hall for all the concentration camps. It only named a few of the 40+ concentration/death camps.
Then we went to another room where we had a chance to get our numerous questions answered on the Holocaust. One that stood out to me was the inquire on how so many men were able to turn “evil” and murder hundreds of people in cold blood. A rabbi answered saying that people have two choices in life. they can choose to either be good or evil and in the case of the holocaust, many men chose to blame their sufferings on the Jews and turn to destruction of others than reconstruction of themselves. Taking away from today, and the whole experience so far, the Holocaust has taught us a lot not only about human nature and what certain circumstances can push people to do, but also to always push each other up, help a brother out, and always ALWAYS be sure to stand up for any injustices because you will never know what it could lead to.