Friday, September 6: Polin Museum

Updated: May 5

Icchok Suknik, a descendant of one of David Zmidek's siblings, appears in the list of the fighters of the Jewish Fighting Organization

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.

An article on Koza by Alex Gerlis was published in the Daily Express on April 11, 2021.

Koza article (PDF)

Koza article (online)

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.


Monday: The first day

Monday: Auschwitz-Birkenau

Monday: Auschwitz-Birkenau (continued)

Tuesday: Chmielnik

Tuesday: DSS HQ

Wednesday: Lodz Ghetto

Thursday: Warsaw Ghetto

Friday: Warsaw, Okopowa cemetery

Historical Snippets


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Historical snippets

(Culled from statements by Tomasz: from Gabrielle). The Jews arrived in Poland over 900 years ago, fleeing persecution, primarily from Prague. As they were skilled in commerce and trade, they served a