Day 13: Krakow – Turning Point

by Mike on August 16, 2010

Yesterday it hit me, exactly what Joseph had saved my family from. We went to the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland .

There they had quotes from survivors and faces of peoples during the pogroms during WII and they ripped my heart right out of my body. These people, now adults had quotes on the walls of what they remembered as kids happening to them and their families. One example was a woman who remembered hiding under some planks of wood underneath a home for months, only able to move at night to find some water.

Joseph didn’t just save my family from the horrors of the Polish/Soviet War, he saved them from being one of those horrified faces in the pictures I saw yesterday. Reading books, seeing movies and talking to people about horrific events gives you about half the emotional reaction than what you get when you see the pictures of what happened right where you are standing.

This was our first stop in Poland and really the beginning of the biggest part of our journey, our trek across true Eastern Europe. It was a turning point for me on a road filled with gratitude towards my ancestors and reflection on how I can use all this new knowledge to better my life and the lives of people around me.

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