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June 17, 2010 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-06-17

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Mazel Tor) To All 2010 Grads!

une 17, 2010 / 5 Tammuz 5770

Frankel Jewish Academy students Matt

Weisberg, Josh Schostak, Hannah Cohen,

Rachel Margolin and Blake Orman take

a moment of reflection at the ruins of

Blrkenau concentration camp in Poland.

marching in solidari

March of the Living shows teens the importance of "Never Again."

by Rachel Margolin and Blake Orman


e were freezing. The rain
dripped down our blue
rain ponchos; the feeling
of numbness traveled through our toes,
and still we could not imagine stand-
ing without our rain jackets, without
shoes and without an identity.
The weather perfectly mimicked
the mood for our first encounter of the
horrors of the Auschwitz and Birkenau
concentration camps operated by Nazi
Germany in Poland. As we walked un-
der the replica gate that read "Arbeit

Macht Frei" (the original was stolen by
a Holocaust denier and recovered, but
is still under repair), I held the hand of
Gertrude "Trudy" Album, who stood
in that exact same place as a prisoner
almost 70 years ago.
Blake and I were overcome with
emotion with the great responsibility
that was placed upon us at that very
moment. With more of a museum feel
than we anticipated, Auschwitz held
hundreds of thousands of shoes, suit-
cases and Jewish ritual prayer items

— each its own story. At Birkenau, we
used personal reflection time to roam
the ruins of once-standing barracks
and gas chambers. In one of the bar-
racks still standing on the men's side
of camp, Trudy told her experience to
the 100 members of the BBYO delega-
tion of March of the Living (April 8-
We returned to Auschwitz and
Birkenau for a second time; this time
with the sun emerging through the
clouds, with more than 10,000 other

people, mostly students, from around
the world. We held our friends' hands
this time as we marched in protest of
the "Final Solution." Though Hitler
thought he could rid the world of the
Jewish people, we stood, hand in hand,
showing that the Jewish people are
alive and thriving. Being back in the
death camp in solidarity with the Jew-
ish people to celebrate life instead of
death made us feel extremely proud.
Our travels through Poland con-

continued on page TT4

teen2teen June 17.2010 TT1

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