Two Weeks in Germany and Poland through Images

In Education, Holocaust by Judy Schindler5 Comments

I returned last night from a two week journey to Germany and Poland with a delegation of Holocaust educators.  While four of the seven camps we visited were specifically identified as death camps, every concentration camp had dehumanization and death as its ultimate goal. We explored the shtetl of Tykochin and then the forest where within two days every Jewish villager from there was shot. We spent time at countless museums, memorials, ghettoes, and gathering places where Nazi crimes were devised and perpetrated. While it will take me years to unpack the lessons I learned and hope to share through the work of our Center, below is our final Kaddish reflecting on the sights with which we connected. (The Kaddish is the prayer Jews recite in memory of those who have died.)

Yitgadal – Auschwitz

V’yitkadash – Birkenau

Sh’mei rabah – Belzec


B’al’ma di v’ra chir’utei – Bergen Belsen

V’yamlich malchutei – Sachsenhausen

B’chayeichon u’vyomeichon – Ravensbruck

Uv’chayei d’chol beit Yisrael – Treblinka

Ba’agala uviz’man kariv v’imru:


Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam ul’al’mei al’maya.

Yit’barach – Hanover

V’yish’tabach – Berlin


V’yit’pa’ar – Krakow

V’yitromam – Majdanek

V’yitnasay – Lublin

V’yit’hadar – Tykocin

V’yitaleh – Warsaw

V’yithalal sh’mei d’kudshah

B’rich hu.

L’eila min kol ber’chata – yeshivas

v’shirata – orphanages

toosh’b’chatah – the partisans

v’nechematah – the righteous among the nations

da’ameeran b’almah v’imru:


Y’hei sh’lama raba – relatives

Min sh’maya – our survivors’ families

V’chayim aleinu – the children

V’al kol Yisrael. vimru. Amen.

Oseh shalom bimromahv

Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael v’imru. Amen

May God’s great Name be exalted and sanctified. Amen.

In the world that God created as God willed.

May God reign in God’s kingship in your lifetimes and in your days

And in the lifetime of the entire family of Israel swiftly and soon. Amen.

May God’s great Name be blessed forever and ever.

Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, mighty, upraised, and

lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is God

Beyond any blessing and song,

Praise and consolation that are uttered in the world. Now say: Amen.

May there be abundant peace from Heaven

and life upon us and upon all Israel. Amen.

May the One who makes peace in the heavens above

cause peace to descend upon us, upon all Israel

and upon the entire world and we say: Amen.

[Photos by Jon Boyle]


    1. Thanks for your vision, passion, time and talent that made all of it happen.

  1. Glad that you and your group honored the memories of our brothers, sisters and families that perished in such a brutal way.
    Yasher Koah.
    Stefan Pienkny

  2. Thanks for sharing! and I read your powerful & heart-breaking comments on Facebook a few days ago.

  3. Deeply moving. The simple photo of empty chairs in Krakow made my heart hurt while imagining all the fun-filled gatherings of family and friends that never happened. What a horrible, unimaginable crime. Absolutely unimaginable. But we MUST imagine it and remember it. Lest it happen again.

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