Did we really wake up in Warsaw this morning? It definitely doesn’t feel like it. I slept through the entire flight to Prague (which was on a very small plane with actual propellors) and most of the bus ride to the hotel. After checking in we went to the Palladium Mall for lunch, and then met up with John Crane for a walking tour of the old Jewish quarter. We walked through the old town square on the way, which was amazingly beautiful and I never wanted to leave. As we walked, Mr. Crane told us some amazing stories about the city of Prague, such as how after the war there was a designated day by which any survivors were supposed to return home or contact their family, and if they didn’t then they could be presumed deceased. Families stood on their doorsteps waiting for relatives that would never show up, and many survivors describe this day as the point at which they truly realized the scope of the destruction that the war had inflicted. It really got me thinking about how difficult it was for people all over Europe to try to put their lives back together after the war.
During our tour we visited the Pinkas Memorial Synagogue, which has walls and walls of hand-painted names of the Jewish Czech victims of the Nazi regime. It was amazing to see every single name and date hand-painted on the wall, which has also had to be repainted multiple times because of floods. Behind the synagogue is a Jewish cemetery, which for a very long time was the only place in the city where Jews were allowed to bury their dead. For that reason, a lot of people are buried on top of one another and many tombstones are old and falling over. I really enjoyed looking for the ones that looked like they had been restored, after Mr. Crane mentioned that there was a project to restore some of the older ones.
2/22/2019 08:05:58 pm
Hello Gabriella - Thank you for sharing and painting such a vivid picture of your experiences. I can't image standing in the door way of one's home and hoping to get word about loved ones. We will have to return some day and you can share the history with us so we will never forget.
2/24/2019 04:21:02 am
Andy L-G (Gavi’s Mom)
2/24/2019 06:43:12 am
Gabby et. al. Thank you so much for your awesome descriptions. The walls in the synagogue with names painted on to remember the victims sounds particularly moving. I wonder if any of my Mom’s family’s names were there. Although I don’t even know who would be as her family history is so much more sketchy than my father’s side. Names are so important as you all have pointed out, remembering people, even those we don’t know, I believe brings blessing and meaning to their lives and ours. Thank you for all of your great blogs this trip.
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