Tour Reflection-Becky Hasselle

Tour Reflection-Becky Hasselle,  Dyersburg Middle School

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Becky Hasselle and Jeff Moorhouse in front of the Janusz Korczak memorial at the Treblinka Death Camp.

The tour helped us all see a complete picture of how vast, widespread, and systematic the Nazi plan for the murder and annihilation of the Jewish people was. We learned about the root of the Holocaust in racist Nazi ideology and saw it’s beginnings in Berlin. We visited the villa of the Wannsee Conference where high ranking Nazis agreed to the “Final Solution,” and Track 17, the train station in an upscale neighborhood Berlin where many German Jews who had to pay their fare were deported to concentration and death camps. We noticed the close proximity of neighborhoods to the camps, retraced the steps the prisoners walked, stepped inside the gas chambers of Auschwitz and imagined how helpless people must have felt in the moments before they were murdered. At Auschwitz we got a glimpse of the scale of it from the rooms of hair, shoes and everyday objects that had belonged to some of the 1.1 million people who were murdered there.

Our guide, David Wanjtraub, was excellent in not only relaying the facts about the atrocities that occurred in the places we visited but he told us memorable personal stories about survivors and those who helped. We learned so much by visiting these places in person that we could not have learned by reading a book or watching a movie. I am very grateful to the Tennessee Holocaust Commission for this opportunity to learn and improve my teaching about the Holocaust.

Arbeit

We all passed under the infamous “Arbreit Mach Frei” sign at the entrance of Auschwitz concentration camp near Krakow, Poland. The words mean “Work sets you free.”

Trip2

We walked through a room filled with shoes of some of the victims murdered at Auschwitz.

Trip3

Kim Blevins-Relleva, a teacher at Abintra School in Nashville, looks through the “Book of Names” an 8,000 page memorial to the 6 million Jews murdered at Auschwitz.

Trip4

At the memorial for the Treblinka death camp, Danielle Kahane-Kaminsky the Executive Director of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and organizer of the teacher tour, stands near a stone representing the town of Bialystok, where some of her family was from. The stones represent communities from which the 900,000 victims were deported from to Treblinka.

Trip5

Our group outside Wawel Castle in Krakow where King Kazimierz lived. This king welcomed Jews to Poland hundreds of years ago.

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