Holocaust and WW II
The Holocaust and Janusz Korczak study tour
Janusz Korczak – “good father to others’ children”. This physician, pedagogue and writer was consistently steadfast in his ideals and devoted to children left in his care. A wise, ascetic, saintly man and pedagogue who advocated full rights for children, he was also a dreamer who believed that a better world and better people were possible.
The “old doctor”, humble in his service to the weak and disadvantaged, spent his entire life in Warsaw. He was a representative of the Polish, Jewish, but above all humanist culture of values that go beyond national and religious divisions.
The tour in the footsteps of Janusz Korczak is a journey to a Poland – a world – of the annihilated Jewish culture, a quest for humanist ideals.
Day 1. Warsaw
morning: Arrival in Warsaw. Transfer to your hotel. Check-in and lunch.
afternoon: “Warsaw – like a phoenix from the ashes” – a tour of the city razed by the Germans and rebuilt after the war. Programme includes the UNESCO-listed Old Town, reconstructed after the wartime damage; the Socialist Realist Palace of Culture and Science that dominates the city’s skyline; and the new city, a symbol of the transformations of the past 30 years.
evening: Dinner in your hotel and free time, or a screening of the film “Korczak” by Andrzej Wajda.
Day 2. Warsaw
morning: “The ghetto and the ghetto uprising” – a visit to the area of the former ghetto in Warsaw. Programme includes the exhibition in the former political prison Pawiak, the Ghetto Heroes Monument; the bunker at 18 Miła Street, the mass grave of the leaders of the uprising; and the Umschlagplatz, the square where people were collected for transport to the death camp in Treblinka.
afternoon: Visit to the Jewish cemetery and the symbolic grave of Janusz Korczak, and to the former orphanage run by Korczak, where there is an exhibition on the life and work of the “old doctor”.
evening: Meeting with an eyewitness, a Holocaust survivor from the Children of the Holocaust Association.
Day 3. Warsaw - Treblinka - Warsaw
morning: Visit to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, devoted to the millennial history and culture of the Jews in Poland, followed by an excursion to Treblinka, the second-largest site of mass extermination of the Jews after Auschwitz. Some 800,000 Jews were put to death in Treblinka, among them the majority of the residents of the Warsaw ghetto, including Dr Janusz Korczak and the children from his orphanage.
evening: Return to Warsaw and dinner in your hotel.
Day 4. Warsaw - Krakow
morning: Intercity transfer to Krakow. Check at your hotel and lunch.
afternoon: “Before the Holocaust” – tour of Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter of Krakow. Visit to the Gothic and Renaissance Old Synagogue, now the Jewish Museum, and to the sixteenth-century Jewish cemetery adjacent to the Remuh Synagogue. After a short rest, a tour of the site of the former ghetto in the district of Podgórze – surviving sections of the ghetto wall; the Eagle Pharmacy, a site of memory; and the “empty chairs” memorial. Lunch, multimedia exhibition “Krakow under Nazi occupation 1939 – 1945” in the former Oskar Schindler Factory.
evening: Dinner in a Jewish restaurant in Kazimierz and a concert of Klezmer music.
Day 5. Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow
morning: Coach transfer from the airport to Oświęcim (the town where Auschwitz is located). “Auschwitz – the topography and logic of the Holocaust”: two-part tour. The first part covers the exhibition in the prisoner blocks in Auschwitz I – Stammlager (the original camp): the death block, the wall of death, and the only surviving gas chamber and crematorium. After a rest, a tour of Auschwitz II – Birkenau, the site of the mass extermination of the Jews, with the preserved prisoners’ barracks, the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria, and the monument commemorating the victims of the camp.
evening: Coach transfer to Krakow. Check-in and dinner at your hotel.
Check-out. Transfer to the airport and flight out of Krakow.