Hey everyone! It’s Laura, the museum intern here. In the next few posts, I’m going to be sharing with you my journal from my time on our trip to Auschwitz last month. I hope you all enjoy it!
Sunday, January 24th
Saturday morning we all met terribly early at CANDLES to leave for Chicago. So we all got loaded up into big passenger vans and drove to Chicago from Terre Haute. The plane ride to Warsaw was far too long (9 hours) and really rather uncomfortable. The guy who I sat next to was really quiet and we didn’t talk much, but when we did he was pretty nice. I slept a little, thank goodness, but not quite as much as I would have hoped. We finally got into the Warsaw airport, which was really quite a nice airport in my opinion and had to go through security all over again. Our plane was much smaller, but more comfortable, from Warsaw to Krakow (Krakoof as they pronounce it in Poland) which was only a quick flight, 40 minutes or so. The Krakow airport, Pope John Paul II the holy airport (seriously, it’s something like that), was really very small and not nearly as nice as the one in Warsaw.
We left the airport and went to the hotel around 2pm Poland time (so that’s 6am EST time), it’s so cute and modern, I like it a lot! After getting situated in the hotel we left on the bus to go to Schindler’s factory (from Schindler’s list, if you’ve seen the movie) which would have been cool if they hadn’t closed early assuming nobody was going to come (it’s the off-season here). We’re going to try to go back another day though maybe. After missing the museum we went to the site of the concentration camp where the Jews who had worked for Schindler were taken, Plaszow. The camp is no longer there, but there is a memorial. I was really struck by how close to Krakow it was, it was basically right there in the city! The memorial was cool, I saw some kids there as we were walking up with sleds (it’s on a hill). That was strange. Perhaps good sledding hills are hard to come by around here, but really. Sledding at the site of a former concentration camp? Very wrong. I just felt guilty when I giggled. Just giggling seemed wrong there.
We were at the Plaszow site for about a half hour or so, but I couldn’t feel my toes, fingers, or thighs by the time we got back onto the bus. It is absolutely frigid here! Seriously, our tour guide (also named Eva interestingly) says this is the coldest winter they have had in YEARS. Just our luck I guess.