Take advice with a grain of salt...

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
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Trip End Aug 31, 2013


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Flag of Poland  , Southern Poland,
Friday, June 8, 2012

We were told that we could walk to catch our early morning bus. Girl was clueless. After walking for 30 mins and time creeping up on us, we jumped in a cab to get to the bus station. The cab alone was like another 15 min drive. Luckily, we pulled up as people were loading into the bus for Poland. 

First stop was a cute town called Krakow. The Euro 2012 football (soccer) games were heating up and like we usually do, we were all in for the event. We hardly ever watch soccer but if it's an event, count us in! We had football fever and holed up in a cave bar to watch Poland vs Greece.  
We also took a walking tour around the old Jewish quarters, saw the Schindler's factory and sampled delicious zapiekanka's. We were hooked on the french bread pizza-ish dish! Of course we had to wash it down with a few beers and popped into the Alchemia bar
 
The following day was a bank holiday so we were worried that the only day we had to visit Auschwitz & Birkenau might not go as planned. We were told that it would be open and it was simple enough to go on our own, rather than on a tour. Before getting on the bus, we ordered some pierogi's. I was thinking of peroshki's...treats that would be easy to eat on the way. When I opened up the styrofoam container, I realized I had ordered pierogi dumplings. Hello, Poland not Russia! Not one container but two. Too many pierogi's and they weren't even good. Bummer. 

Having read the haunting Diary of Anne Frank as a child, I have always wanted to visit Auschwitz. Anne's book etched unforgettable images in my mind and made something as unfathomable as the Jewish persecution a reality. When you hear personal stories, people become more than a statistic. I wanted to visit the place where her family went in hiding (later in Amsterdam) and where she died.

Wow. Why did anyone care what a stump of a soulless creature (Adolf Hitler) had to say? His rise to power is mind baffling. His promotion of the Aryan race, of which he himself did not exemplify, was twisted. How could such atrocities occur...right in the open? Why didn't the masses revolt? Was/(is) the world really full of so many naive followers? What would I have done? Would I have risked harm to my family or death if I were on either side? It takes an astonishing amount of courage to stand virtually alone, against the odds. The few who actually did something, anything, to save lives should have been the majority. 
 
We are told to learn from the past so that these things never happen again. It's easy to look back in hindsight and yet I wonder how much we've 'learned.' How far have we come since the 1940's? Rwanda, Darfur, Sudan...

If it's not happening in our backyard, it's not our problem? Yet, what is the right thing to do? 
 
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