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I'm home.

It's been five weeks and many many miles. I'm back.

I will remember this trip for the rest of my days. It touched emotions deep, painful and beautiful, all at once.

I walked the streets of my father's childhood. I stood by my mother as she heard about the day her father brought her, a newborn, to register with the village clerk. I took a train to the town my father, an eleven year old boy, hid during the war. I peeked into the boarded up train lounge where he sat, over sixty years ago, so young, so brave. I stopped in the town where his brother, fourteen year old Sevek, was taken to work in a labor camp and later executed. It was such an honor for me to know that I was the first family member to come back and say goodbye to Sevek so many years after he died alone in that place. I met Marta, a wonderful woman who was our guide and who grew to know each member of my family. She did all in her power to bring their past back to life for us.

I walked the streets of old Krakow and took Nina on a horse and buggy ride to see the old castle and the busy colorful streets of the city. We drove through villages and farm lands and saw beautiful little gardens along the roads. I passed by rich forests and lush landscapes, one moment admiring their beauty and the next hearing the cries of people no longer with us. People who ran to those forests to hide and whose blood saturated the ground around the cities and in the villages. What a contradiction. Impossible to understand. Overwhelming.

I'm back. I'm home.


robyn  – (August 18, 2008 at 10:10 AM)  

Hi Orna,
You may be shocked to know I follow your blog and love every minute of it. The pictures are always so incredible. I'm so touched by your families story and your recent visit Poland. Looking forward to seeing you all and catching up in person.
xoxo Love
Robyn

Christine  – (August 19, 2008 at 5:03 AM)  

That sounds like a very emotional trip - thank you for sharing some of the details. I got a little teary eyed reading about your father and brother and what they went through.

Hugs, Christine

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