Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poland #4 - Oct 26, 2006 - Belzec

The forgotten death camp. 500,000 Jews were killed here in 9 months of 1942. The camp received trains from southern Poland, aka Galiciana. Green road synagogue's membership came from this area before the war. Less than a handful survived this camp. Only one gave testimony.

When I leave a graveyards in Israel, I join the others in washing my hands. I asked Rav Adler why we do not wash our hands when we leave a death camp in poland. He answered that all of Poland is a graveyard. The roads are only paths between the cemetery plots. We wash our hands when we leave Poland.

Three years ago, Belzec was excavated as an archaeological site and rebuilt as a monument. The boys on our trip started the morning joking and annoying. At Belzec, they understood the impact of the moment and we had a moving ceremony with the standard set of songs. For the moment, we were united.

Once we got back to the bus, the boys resumed their ways. Oh well. This is a special group.


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