Tour Reflection-Dan Carpenter

Tour Reflection-Dan Carpenter, Christ Presbyterian Academy

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Dan Carpenter lights a memorial candle at Treblinka placing it in front of the Janusz Korczak memorial stone.

Here are some trip reflections:

I was deeply moved by the trip to Tykocin. The visit to the town felt tragic even before we arrived at the site of the mass grave, because the abandoned Jewish cemetery let us know that the once thriving Jewish community was no longer there. The mass grave site itself was overwhelming – the Israeli flags, the stillness of the forest, and the remote location were all so moving and awful. Walking and standing in the exact place where families were slaughtered made the Holocaust very real to me.

I will never forget the feeling of sadness that we felt at Auschwitz. The camp is massive, so much bigger than I imagined, and every inch is permeated with sadness and the memory of murder. One of the most powerful things at Auschwitz is the mug-shot style photographs of the victims, taken when they arrived. All the photos include the date of arrival and date of death. Seeing the eyes of those people looking out from the photos stays with you – they were all people who had families and friends and plans for their future. Visiting Auschwitz gave me a better understanding of the massive size of the Holocaust.

I know that the trip changed me as a teacher. I have always taught the Holocaust in my classes, but now the subject has a much deeper meaning to me. Being able to describe to my students how it feels to stand in a gas chamber, and to show them pictures of the camps, will completely change how students experience this topic.

Danielle, thank you so much for taking me on the trip. It was truly a trip of a a lifetime, and I will forever be changed as a teacher and a person as a result.

Thanks so much,

Dan