Touching impressions from Poland - June 2018


In June 2018, I accompanied my friend, Batsheva Dagan, a holocaust survivor, to Poland. Batsheva, 92 years old, traveled to Auschwitz, Poland to meet up with people who are interested in commemorating and perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust.My friends, most from Servas Poland, Maria (Marzena) Zemojcin, Barbara Bieniek, and Lukasz Schodnicki , whom I had met before in Poland and Israel made great efforts to meet us several times during our stay in Poland.

Barbara, a tour guide, who was guiding a group of teachers from Seattle who had come that week to learn about the Holocaust, met us at our hotel on the evening of our arrival in Krakow.She met Batsheva and asked if she would be willing to meet and speak with the teachers. It turned out to be a very special experience for them because it was the first time they met a Holocasut survivor and heard her personal story.

 Lukasz arrived on a flight from Bonn to meet us in Krakow. In the evening he took us to a meal and to the Jewish Klezmer Festival that took place in the open air. Lukasz made sure to bring a chair for Batsheva so she would not get tired. At the festival, Barbara came to see us for a second time that day. The next day, Lukasz took us to the Japanese Museum which was a cultural experience in itself.

Maria came especially to meet us in the framework of the schedule organized for Batsheva in the area of Auschwitz and we spent a few pleasant hours together. I would like to give an example of Maria's warm and accommodating attitude; I wanted to buy a blouse that needed repair; she convinced me to buy it. When Maria and her dear husband, Adam, came to the airport to say goodbye, they brought the repaired shirt with them.

In Poland, where we stayed for a week, our members were very cordial and extraordinarily willing to make our stay pleasant.

We were deeply moved and thrilled by our friends in Poland. 

Hedva Kooper

Servas Israel

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