Our Memorial Visit to Poland

From Wednesday, 19 October to Sunday, 23 October, we - the classes 10A and 10B - visited the city of Kraków and the memorial and museum Auschwitz-Birkenau - former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
Get an impression of the trip by watching a compilation of our photos and videos! © Mara

Article

by Belinda and Holly

10A and 10B

On Wednesday our trip started with a nine-hour bus ride, where all the sandwiches our parents prepared with love, were replaced by absolutely healthy McDonalds food. At 6pm we arrived at our hostel, where we settled in pretty fast. Dinner and breakfast were served at Hamsa, a restaurant nearby.

On Thursday we woke up to good, sunny weather and after breakfast the classes were separated. Each group had their own guided tour through Kazimierz, the historic Jewish quarter of Kraków. We were told about the history of Jews in Kraków and took a look at different buildings and places there. The main sights were the Remuh synagogue and cemetery. We could also recognize some places from the movie Schindler's List, which we watched as a preparation beforehand. The guided tour ended at the cloth hall and we were given free time. Our group decided to go to a nice burger restaurant to eat some lunch and two of us bought stuffed animals in the cloth hall. Then we were told to meet again at the marketplace and listened to extremely interesting presentations by our classmates. After that we were allowed to explore the city on our own.

On Friday our tour guide showed us around the former Kraków Ghetto. There we were able to see the Ghetto’s wall and the memorial. After that we went to Schindler’s factory. We had cake and hot chocolate in the museum café before our tour started. We were able to learn a lot about this topic during the guided museum tour. And even more afterwards, when we listened to a couple more presentations. Then the teachers gave us freetime again and our group decided to do a city rallye, which taught us a lot about the legends and fun facts of the city and was really fun. We only got back right before dinner, with our feet hurting from the 20 thousand steps we walked that day.

On Saturday we were heading to the main event of our trip - concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. After a tense 1h ride we listened to some presentations. Subsequently we took a 3h guided tour in Auschwitz Stammlager where we were told many frightening stories and saw many terrifying objects and buildings. We got a little break while we drove to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There we saw barracks and were told even more facts and stories.

It had been a rainy and cold day and when we got back to the bus, all of us were just as physically exhausted as we were mentally. Back at the hostel we packed our things and for the last time went to our local supermarket to buy snacks for our ride back home.

The next morning, we went on the bus. At our first stop the teachers surprised us with Pączki which are the Polish “Pfannkuchen”. After a long ride we arrived at the Netto parking lot next to our school building. At the end of our article we once again want to thank our teachers for making this trip possible. The impressions we got on these 5 days will stay with us for our whole life.

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