Monday, August 9, 2010

Journal 6: On the bus, Poland

Barracks #5 “Material Proof of Crimes”

The road from Kielce to Lodz is the road

from Rochester to Logansport.

Behind a fence a woman on a hot day steps out of her home

in shorts and a bathing suit top to pick up a toy and

rush back in to answer the phone.

A satellite dish on the roof collects what she needs to know

And shoves it through a tube to the front room.

Lodz..pre-war Jewish population of around 180,000…fewer than 900 survived

It’s not so far close as my eyes, my nose, my ears….as real as that

Do we know that this means?

Do we think we know that this means?

Where does this end?

Do we know that this means?




Palpable and mute - as a globed fruit - a poem should not mean but be

My heart stops to breathe

Squirming under glass – I have looked through my window – I

have touched the glass

You look through the window at me looking through the window… I touch the glass

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Journal 5: Jerusalem

There were heroes everywhere. My students need to know that, even if the proportion of time spent on heroes is not equal to the proportion of heroes, because the recognition of heroes is the recognition of choice. That is easily relatable to students’ own experiences.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Journal 4: Washington, D.C.

In one of our sessions at the museum before we left for Israel, USHMM curator Kyra Schuster told us about a homemade puppet that appears in a grainy black and white film of an American medic entertaining children in a French displaced persons camp. The puppet showed up last year in a box in a basement in Cadillac, Michigan.

One and a half million children were murdered in the Holocaust.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Journal 3: Lublin, Poland

In response to Needville, Texas's Susan Davis inquiry about more than once seeing the same drawing of a stereotypical Jew on an illustration for sale, the Lublin, Poland shop clerk says, “We have here to bring us money.” She adds, "It's the Good Luck Jew."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Journal 2: Bergen-Belsen

Our fathers and grandfathers were perpetrators…younger generation not to blame, but they do have a great responsibility to acknowledge and to teach.”

Carola Rudnick, German educator at Bergen-Belsen


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Journal 1: Washington, D.C.

Maintaining one's humanity is a form of resistance.

My journal

In an attempt to close this blog, I went into my trip journal this morning.

I thought I might find a few things to share and then be off on my merry way, but it will not work that way. Instead, I'll keep the blog open and share a little bit at a time.

The journal is another form of the video and the verbal posts. There are quotations, observations, narratives, and poems created along the way, but no end in sight.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Waclaw Wojclechowski

Summer Reading

I met Gerda Weissmann Klein when the Kurt and Tessye Simon Fund for Holocaust Remembrance brought her to South Bend in 2006. I am re-reading her Holocaust memoir All But My Life, the summer reading assignment for my incoming four sections of level 3 American Lit. and Composition class.

Gerda is one of six thousand Jews who lived in Bielitz before the war. Only 25,000 Jews live in the entire country today. Over nine percent of Poland was Jewish in 1939. Today, it's less than seven-tenths of one percent.

Because of the trip, I've seen now first hand what a vibrant culture was lost; her home town of Bielitz, now called Bielsko-Biala, is only a few miles from the beautiful city of Krakow where we stayed for three days. From what I can see from some pictures on the internet, Bielsko-Biala looks a lot like Krakow.

The trip will make me better able to teach and to encourage my students to learn for themselves about the Holocaust. "Please remember," said Waclaw, "These were individual people."

Sunday, August 1, 2010