Friday, June 12, 2009

The Last Days

As we approach our last few days in Poland,
there were some things we knew
that we must see before we left.
These are places that are a sobering reminder
of Poland's past and a profound part
of its present too.
Here stands the aged gate to the
Jewish cemetery
Tens of thousands of Jews who died in the
from disease and starvation
during the war found a resting place here.

The headstones are in disrepair and and the
grounds are overgrown and unkept.
And myriads were simply thrown
into mass, unmarked graves.

We also felt it was important to visit Majdanek
---a prisoner of war and
extermination camp.
In this building thousands and thousands of Poles met their death as they were gased with Zyclon B.

Today a massive mausoleum honors the dead and their remains.

"Here are deposited the ashes of the victims."

It's not easy to see, to comprehend, or to write about,
but it is important to remember.


LisAway said...

The Jewish cemetery in Warsaw is one place I haven't been yet but want to go. I was so surprised to find out that before the war the town we live in was 50% Jewish. Now there are zero, of course. I wrote about what we found near our home just after we moved here a year and a half ago. You can read about it here if you want.

You won't happen to be in Kielce this Sunday or Wrocław the next, will you?

Jodi said...

What a moving post sis...I'm glad you got a chance to pay your respects and in rememberance of those lost. Sobering indeed!