Updated: 17 hours ago
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, to give it its full title, is an impressive edifice. In the square adjacent to the building stands a monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that began on April 19 and ended on May 16, 1943.
Our museum guide described the arrival of the Jews, primarily from Prague, into what eventually became Poland, some 900 years ago. Due to their skill in commerce and trade, the Jews were protected by the local rulers; in fact, in pagan Poland, the Jews benefited from the tolerance and diversity of the population. However, with the advent of Roman Catholicism, the fortunes of the Jews changed. The Church incited against the Jews while the Polish rulers generally protected them.
The tour took us through the yo-yo history of the Jews in Poland up to and including the Holocaust and the post-Holocaust era. Our guide did her best but we were tired. As the culminating outing of our journey, we were wilting under a surfeit of information and it was difficult to focus and retain all the factoids.
We perked up a bit when we found our relative Icchok Suknik in the list of names of the fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Icchok (Itzhak) Suknik, nickname Koza (Polish for goat), is known for having saved the life of Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of one of the resistance groups.
That evening, we met for a group dinner at a classy restaurant - paid for from our contributions to the kitty. It truly was an excellent meal.