Last Days in Berlin, Hello Poland (July 20th 2014)

Hello from Poland! My apologies for not keeping up with my posts at the end of Berlin, however, those were some tough days for me as I posted previously. However, I am looking forward to expressing what I leaned in the last few days. On Friday, we went to the Villa where the Final Solution was planned. It was strange to be in such a beautiful atmosphere and know what evil was construed there. We had a discussion in the morning where we discussed the Nuremberg Laws and also the standards which the Final Solution outlined. After lunch we broke up into smaller groups and studied a specific topic. My group and I explored the topic of Kniefall. Kniefall is a gesture in which the Chancellor of Germany fell to his knees in front of a monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This was very controversial because the Poles were offended by the choice of his monument to fall to his knees in front of. The Warsaw Ghetto was filled with mostly Jews, and he was in Poland (the controversy being why did he not fall in front of a Polish ghetto). That evening I went to a Mexican restaurant with friends, which was a nice way to end the night. The next morning we went the Anne Frank Center. I have always felt like I have had a connection to Anne Frank after I was in a production of the play. Even before that, she has always been a symbol of hope. In addition to seeing the exhibits we had a great discussion with our leader. We talked about Berlin and the way in which it has taken responsibility and “remembered” the Holocaust. After our time at the museum, we had free time in which my friends and I went shopping. This was once again a great way to get in touch with the present. It is so hard to get suck in our studies we have to remember to take care of ourselves, this was the topic of discussion at our debrief today before leaving for Poland. I am writing this on the train now and am very excited about the next part of our adventure. Although I know it will be incredibly challenging. I am looking forward to a fresh start and new perspective in Poland.

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