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November 3, 2019. I along with all my classmates headed to Poland.

November 3, 2019. I along with all my classmates headed to Poland. We went to see through first hand experiences. Having the opportunity to go to Poland and learn there for one week has helped me better my understanding of what I have learned/studied about the Shoa (Holocaust) in past years. In 8th grade I learned by reading the book Maus 1 and 2, my classmates grandmother is a survivor so we had the chance to hear her story and how she survived and we were able to ask her questions to better understand the holocaust. In 9th grade I got another chance to study the Holocaust. I read the book Night as well as watched a documentary/interview with Elie Wiesel and Oprah going back to Auschwitz and telling his story there while walking through and looking at all the things found, such as the; Shoes, clothes, glasses, pots and pans, hair, prosthetics...etc. but none of those learning experiences can beat the one and only. Actually going to Poland and standing on the same ground and being able to study there. It is so much more powerful and meaningful to be able to see where the prisoners lived and how terribly they were treated and what they had to do. Being beaten for taking too long on the toilet or just for no reason at all. 

I thought Poland was such a life changing trip for me, being able to walk around all the cities and camps was such different scenery. The camps were like a different world, fenced in by some barbed wire and wood. Throughout the entire week my main thought was just confusion. I knew that I should be sad and I kept thinking to myself be sad Ciona, this is a sad thing to happen, devastating. I still didn’t feel sad. I know that everyone reacts to seeing these things in so many ways, and me feeling the way I did was not what I was expecting for the way I would have reacted. At the end of almost every day, I felt more connected when we were on the site. When we got back to the hotel I didn’t really think about the day I just had until we had our group debriefs. During these group debriefs I had the chance to think about and reflect on my day and how I was feeling. overall , in the end I am going to share my experience with everyone because I feel it is important for people to know that no matter what I think they should visit Poland and that it is OK to feel a different way than the other people around you. Everyone goes through things differently.