LifeStory

Neshama '24

Poland: The March of the Living

By Veronica Slater


"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." -Elie Wiesel


As we stood in Treblinka, one of many concentration camps where the Jewish people were tortured and murdered, we sang the Hatikvah. As a descendant of a Holocaust survivor, I felt proud to sing this song about hope. Although the Nazi's won the battle, we won the war. We are an oppressed nation that managed to not only survive this execution, but were able to establish a homeland for ourselves.

For me, Auschwitz was the hardest site to visit. At the entrance of the concentration camp was a sign that translated to, "work makes you free." This was only one of the ways that the Nazi's used deception to ensure cooperation.  

Propoganda was what influenced most of Germany to support Hitler's plan to annihilate the Jews. After World War I, Germany faced food shortages, industrial decline, and most importantly, it lost its nationalistic pride. Hitler knew that Germany needed a strong leader who would help them regain their former glory. However, there was no simple, intellectual solution. Therefore, they chose the easiest solution: Blame. Sadly, the Jews were their chosen nation.

There were 28 blocks in Auschwitz 2, which spells out the Hebrew word "כוח," which means spirit in English. This, however, meant nothing because according to the Nazi's, if you were a Jew then you had no spirit. You were merely a body to be disposed of. The scale of judgement for life and death was determined strictly by them. They played the part of God. The only difference was that they were less forgiving.

"Forever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity..."

Some people compare the Nazi's to animals. However, that would be an inaccurate description because to act like an animal means to act without thinking and the Nazi Party knew exactly what they were doing.

Although I cannot fathom how a human being could murder a person so carelessly, it is important to note that Hitler's plan failed. We are still here. I stood in a place where everybody's nightmares became a reality and then was able to leave. 

My generation is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is because of them that we are alive.



Neshama '24
Memorial
  • begins

    Feb 21, 2016

  • Interests and relevant keywords

    Hebrew
    Holocaust
    nationalism
    conflict
    negev
    strong
    IDF
    love
    pride
    Homeland
    Israel
    shooks
    Jew
    community
    Poland
    crazy
    hiking
    kotel
    religion
    Family

  • ends

    May 20, 2016

  • description

    Golda Och Academy Class of 2016 semester in Poland and Israel

  • People connected to this LifePost

    Ziv Goldman(Madrich/Counselor)
    Keren Futerman(Madricha/Counselor)
    Yuval Schlessinger(Madrich/Counselor)
    Dana Hauser(Madricha/Counselor)
    Hannah Sessler
    Veronica Slater
    Talia Ramer
    Arielle Matuszewicz
    Shira Arzt
    Noa Barash
    Sara Hessdorf
    Mira Blecherman
    Harrison Slobodien
    Dylan Mendelowitz
    Jacob Gutstein
    Rebecca Marcus
    Sophie Wainberg
    Daniela Shapiro
    Max Bruch
    Leia Kessler
    Rachel Kramer
    Matt Blum
    Megan Kaplan
    Rayna Landa
    Raffi Jones
    Talia Solomon
    Rachel Slobodien
    Sophia Friedman
    Noah Schlesinger
    David Shepard
    Andrew Schwartz
    Hannah Greenwald
    Noah Susskind
    Jordan Broder
    Jon Lavitsky
    Gil Moran
    Yoni Rekem
    Gabi Solomon
    H. Alex Rothschild
    Corinna Ronen
    Ben Soudry
    Heather Kizner
    Rebecca Kizner

  • locations

    Kineret
    Israel
    Mediterranean
    Israel
    Akko
    Israel
    Auschwitz
    Poland
    Krakow
    Poland
    Lodz
    Poland
    Warsaw
    Poland
    Lublin
    Poland
    Jerusalem
    Israel
    Tel Aviv
    Israel
    Tsfat
    Israel
    Negev
    Israel
    Jaffe
    Israel
    Masada
    Israel
    Sde Boker
    Israel

Neshama '24
Memorial
  • begins

    Feb 21, 2016

  • Interests and relevant keywords

    Hebrew
    Holocaust
    nationalism
    conflict
    negev
    strong
    IDF
    love
    pride
    Homeland
    Israel
    shooks
    Jew
    community
    Poland
    crazy
    hiking
    kotel
    religion
    Family

  • ends

    May 20, 2016

  • description

    Golda Och Academy Class of 2016 semester in Poland and Israel

  • People connected to this LifePost

    Ziv Goldman(Madrich/Counselor)
    Keren Futerman(Madricha/Counselor)
    Yuval Schlessinger(Madrich/Counselor)
    Dana Hauser(Madricha/Counselor)
    Hannah Sessler
    Veronica Slater
    Talia Ramer
    Arielle Matuszewicz
    Shira Arzt
    Noa Barash
    Sara Hessdorf
    Mira Blecherman
    Harrison Slobodien
    Dylan Mendelowitz
    Jacob Gutstein
    Rebecca Marcus
    Sophie Wainberg
    Daniela Shapiro
    Max Bruch
    Leia Kessler
    Rachel Kramer
    Matt Blum
    Megan Kaplan
    Rayna Landa
    Raffi Jones
    Talia Solomon
    Rachel Slobodien
    Sophia Friedman
    Noah Schlesinger
    David Shepard
    Andrew Schwartz
    Hannah Greenwald
    Noah Susskind
    Jordan Broder
    Jon Lavitsky
    Gil Moran
    Yoni Rekem
    Gabi Solomon
    H. Alex Rothschild
    Corinna Ronen
    Ben Soudry
    Heather Kizner
    Rebecca Kizner

  • locations

    Kineret
    Israel
    Mediterranean
    Israel
    Akko
    Israel
    Auschwitz
    Poland
    Krakow
    Poland
    Lodz
    Poland
    Warsaw
    Poland
    Lublin
    Poland
    Jerusalem
    Israel
    Tel Aviv
    Israel
    Tsfat
    Israel
    Negev
    Israel
    Jaffe
    Israel
    Masada
    Israel
    Sde Boker
    Israel