Hello Camp Micah Friends and Family,

After a somewhat restful sleep last night, we hit the ground running this morning with an hour and a half drive to Auschwitz and Birkenau. It was clear that everyone felt the whole impact of the Holocaust, and the damage it truly caused to both the people who were forced to face this, and to the surroundings of the community. All of the displays and exhibits were powerful, especially the hair and shoes of the victims, and preserved drawings by children who were forced to skip their childhood.

After the camps, feeling both more in touch with our Jewish heritage and background, we went to meet with the director of the Krakow JCC who told us about bringing back Judaism in the community. He told us about the growing amount of people who were realizing their Jewish history that their ancestors previously hid out of embarrassment.

We later met with a woman who received the “Righteous Among the Nation” award from the Israeli government. She shared a different point of view of the events during the Holocaust and shared how it was to live as a young polish girl hiding a Jew, risking her life. Everyone asked many questions and were very interested.

Ending the day on a more whimsical note, we all tried some local Polish sandwiches which were about 32 cm. It was very entertaining and a lot of tide sticks were put to use. The kids next had a great search for ice cream and odd interactions with homeless people. While on the bus, I (Matt) have started a selfie-challenge, meaning that I will take a selfie with everyone who falls asleep on the bus. It has been a successful day, tackling 8 selfies, 2 of which were our group leaders, Michelle and Seidy.

With much love (and 24 selfies left),

Matt Grosswald and Becca Gorman

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