A father’s journal – pt.7

While I impatiently waited for Marta’s response I continued to consume every word in the Journal. This was an account of an impersonal nature where Edward Kubalski speaks of food rations, curfews, and round-ups. He says,

Men are afraid of arrests. They will not sleep at home and sometimes sleep in the office. In almost every family there has been some grief or tragedy. Someone nearest disappeared was imprisoned, killed, or exiled. There are always nerves and anticipation over the continuing terror.

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Seeking answers – pt.6

I didn’t get my first solid lead on Stanislaw until a week after I’d returned to Los Angeles. By this time I’d been able to narrow down his parents name and that of his wife. Where I was unable to find any pertinent information regarding Stanislaw, his mother, or his wife; his father was a different story.

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Systematic genocide – pt.5

It is estimated that eleven million lives were lost during the Holocaust. Six million of those victims were Polish citizens. Of that six million, half were gentile Poles while the other half were Jewish. What is not widely acknowledged is, just as with the Jewish community, the mass murder of the Polish people, both Gentile and Jew, was systematically planned by the Nazi’s. On August 22nd, 1939, in a speech to his commanders, Adolph Hitler told them to kill…

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The journey continues – pt.4

The day after visiting Auschwitz I would spend the afternoon seeking out the last remnants of the Kraków Ghetto Wall. Just standing in front of the short stretch of 12ft gray wall was a sobering experience. Across the top are a series of arches the Nazi’s purposefully shaped like tombstones to signify the people inside the ghetto would not make it out alive.

krakowghettowall

Krakow Ghetto Wall

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A chance encounter – pt.3

My eyes were swollen from weeping and my nose rubbed raw from tissue when we entered a building marked “Block 6”. Here we walked down a long bleak hallway where row upon row of black and white photographs lined the walls. They were intake pictures the Nazi’s took when prisoners arrived at the camp.

 

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History at my fingertips – pt.2

Auschwitz— From 1940 to 1945 it is estimated the Nazi party deported 1.3 million people to the concentration camp. In 1940 Auschwitz was initially used to house Polish political prisoners but the camps population would begin to change in 1942 as Jews, Roma, Soviets, and anyone the Nazi’s deemed inferior were deported to the camp from all across German occupied Europe. By the end of World War Two, 1.1 million Jews would be deported along with 200,000 other victims. The “others” consisted of 140,000–150,000 gentile Poles as well as many Soviet civilians, Lithuanians, Czechs, French, Yugoslavs, Germans, Austrians, and Italians. On January 27th, 1945, the Soviet Army would liberate the camp.

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Entering the iron gates – pt.1

The ground beneath my feet was frozen and the frigid wind whipped my hair ruthlessly against my face. Snowflakes stuck to my coat on their descent from the sky as conversations in unfamiliar languages filled the air. The owners of those voices would push their way past me but unable to take another step, I just stood there and trembled.

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