Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 3: April 5th, 2013

Today, we saw a dark piece of Polish history. On a busy street in the town of Kielce, there are two plaques on the side of an apartment building. These are the only two remnants of one of the most violent pogroms after World War II. A false accusation acted as the flare that sparked the powder keg of post war Poland. Citizens were looking for any excuse to target the Jews and a man accused of kidnapping a young boy was the perfect opportunity. For an entire day, enraged citizens across Kielce stormed a shelter for displaced jews and violently murdered 42 men, women, and children. Despite the size and severity of this pogrom, Poland has only recently decided to commemorate the lost people. The two plaques, barely set off from the busy city street, are hardly relative to the destruction caused by the pogrom. Poland does not want to address this dark period of their history and some citizens still do not discuss this event. In my opinion, however, commemorating this dark event with a more elaborate monument that reflects the scale of the pogrom will serve as a testament to the progress the country has made rather than showcasing their mistakes. So far, this trip has already been incredibly impactful to me and opened my eyes to stories of the Holocaust that are not normally covered. I can not wait for the rest of the trip; I already feel I will be a better person because of it. 

-Daniel Seibert 

Daniel Seibert

First of 2 plaques 

Second of 2 plaques

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