ITINERARY

Monday June 29

Outbound flights:
Air Berlin AB 7249 from JFK departs 5:30 p.m. arrives Berlin June 30th at 7:25 a.m.

DAY 1 Tuesday June 30 — Berlin

7:25 AM - Arrive Berlin

Walking tour (Sites subject to time and energy level as group will be tired from overnight flight.)

  • Tiergarten Memorials:
    • T4 Memorial at Tiergartenstrasse 4, site of the headquarters for the Nazi euthanasia program, where the murders of mentally and physically handicapped persons were planned
    • Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime
    • Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under the National Socialist Regime
  • Brandenburg Gate – Berlin’s most famous landmark, it was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II 1789. A symbol of division after World War II, the gate was incorporated into the Berlin Wall during the years of the Communist regime. When the Berlin Wall still stood, the Gate stood alone and isolated. Today it is once again a symbol of national unity, integrated into the recently designed Pariser Platz.
  • Reichstag – Seat of the German Parliament and one of Berlin's most significant landmarks.
  • Neue Wache (“New Guard House") National Memorial to the Victims of War and Tyranny – features sculptor Käthe Kollwitz's Mother with her Dead Son. This sculpture is directly under the oculus, where it is exposed to rain, snow and cold, symbolizing the suffering of civilians during World War II.
  • Bebelplatz – This square in front of Humboldt University was the site of the infamous book burning staged by the Nazis on May 10, 1933.

“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” - Heinrich Heine

Lunch: TBC

  • Stolpersteine – Stumbling blocks have been installed in the sidewalks of cities and towns throughout Germany and other European countries. The bronze, cobblestone-sized memorials are engraved with the names, last known place of residence, and fate of individual Nazi victims.
  • Grosse Hamburger Strasse – a pre-war Jewish neighborhood, once the center of Berlin Jewry, where we find the grave of Moses Mendelssohn, the site of the first Jewish Home for the Aged in Berlin and sculptures depicting a group of Jews being led to their deaths. It is also the site of the Missing House graphic depicting names of former residents.
  • New Synagogue/Centrum Judaicum – Inaugurated in 1866, the building survived Kristallnacht but suffered damage during the war. Today, It houses a museum, an archive, classrooms, administrative offices and a small shul.
  • Rosenstrasse 2/4 – A red sandstone monument pays tribute to the 1943 protests of non-Jewish women over the capture of their Jewish husbands. The protests escalated until the men were released in what became a significant example of opposition to the Nazis.

Evening:

  • Opening Program at the hotel before dinner
  • Opening Dinner at hotel
  • Group Gathering

Overnight: Berlin

DAY 2: Wednesday July 1 - Wannsee and Berlin

Morning:

  • Bayerische Platz – a decentralized memorial in the Bavarian Quarter, inaugurated in 1993, features 80 brightly printed on lampposts, depicting colorful images on the one side and condensed versions of anti-Jewish Nazi rules and regulations passed between 1933 and 1945 in black and white on the reverse side. Together, the words and images force passers-by to remember the almost-forgotten history of this neighborhood, where Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt once lived. Dispersed throughout the area the memorial becomes a metaphor of the daily deprivation of rights and humiliation of Jews during the Nazi era.
  • Gleis 17 – A memorial at the Grunwald Railway Station known as Track 17, marks the site from which Berlin Jews were deported to ghettos and extermination camps in the east.
  • Wannsee
    • Wannsee Haus – located in a suburb of Berlin. In January 1942, high ranking Nazi party and German government leaders held a meeting at this villa for the purpose of discussing the “final solution to the Jewish question in Europe”. An member of the Wannsee Haus education department staff guides us.
    • Liebermann Villa – The summer home of Jewish artist Max Liebermann, one of the greatest German painters; its grounds feature magnificent gardens.
  • Topography of Terror – The SS offices with their own prison, and the Reich Security Main Office were located in central Berlin on the present-day grounds of the “Topography of Terror”. The exhibits document the history of the site and the central institutions of the SS and police during the Third Reich, revealing the European dimensions of the Nazi reign of terror.

Lunch: TBC

Afternoon: Museum Island – the northern half of an island in the Spree River in the central Mitte section of Berlin houses a complex of five internationally significant museums, all part of the Berlin State Museums. In 1999, the museum complex was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

  • Visit New Museum and Pergamon Museum

Free time or optional visit to Jewish Museum

Dinner: Restaurant

Overnight: Berlin

Day 3: Thursday July 2 — Berlin and Krakow

Morning: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – Situated in the center of Berlin, this is a place for remembrance and commemoration. Inaugurated in 2005, the 4.7 acre site comprises 2,700 concrete slabs, some as tall as 13 feet, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere in which a supposedly ordered system has lost touch with reason.

FLIGHT BERLIN-KRAKOW
Arrive Krakow

Lunch: on own

Kazimierz district - walking tour

  • Krakow was not destroyed during the war. What remains in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter, is a testament to the spiritual and cultural life of Polish Jews from the 15th century until World War II. The seven main synagogues of Kazimierz constitute the largest such complex in Europe next to Prague: the still active Remuh, with its adjacent centuries-old cemetery; the Old Synagogue, now housing a Jewish history museum; Isaac Jakubowicz, Wolf Popper, High, Kupa Synagogues, and Tempel Synagogue, once part of the Neolog movement and now an active Reform synagogue.
  • Galerie Galicia (Galicia Jewish Museum) – commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and celebrates the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia

Dinner: Restaurant

Overnight: Krakow

DAY 4: Friday July 3 — Auschwitz-Birkenau

Morning: Visit Auschwitz I Former Concentration and Death Camp Full day guided tour of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II/ Birkenau – The largest and most notorious complex of Nazi extermination camps.

The sign over the entrance to Auschwitz I – Arbeit Macht Frei (‘Works Makes You Free’) – is arguably the best-known symbol of the Holocaust. Approximately 1.5 million people, most of the Jews from all over Europe, were murdered at Auschwitz II/Birkenau.

  • Auschwitz I Concentration and Death Camp – the original camp and administrative center for the entire massive network of sub-camps. Auschwitz I houses 16 one-story buildings and contains the infamous gates with the words “Arbeit Mach Frei”.

Lunch: boxed lunch

Afternoon: Walk from Judenramp, the original spot where Jews disembarked from transport trains to be marched to their death, into Auschwitz II or Birkenau, site of the main extermination center for over 1 million victims, mostly Jews. Tour to include: Women's Barracks (if open to visitors), Central Sauna, crematoria ruins.

  • Memorial Ceremony in Birkenau

Dinner: Shabbat dinner – private room in Hotel

Overnight: Krakow

DAY 5: Saturday July 4 — Krakow

Morning: Walking tour of Podgorze, area of ghetto, including Under the Eagle Pharmacy – half of this establishment was in the Ghetto, while its front faced outside the Ghetto. It became a meeting place for the ghetto's intelligentsia, and a hub of underground activity, serving as a secret passage and hideaway for Ghetto residents, with the permission and assistance of the apothecary’s Polish owner, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem In 1983. Today the pharmacy building serves as a museum chronicling the ghetto.

Lunch: TBC

  • Schindler’s Factory – site of Oskar Schindler’s now famed factory, it is now part of the City of Krakow Historical Museum with a permanent exhibition called ‘Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945’.
  • Plaszow – the site of the infamous labor camp now consists of sparsely wooded hills and fields with one large memorial to all the victims and two smaller monuments at one perimeter of where the camp once stood.

Free Time

Dinner: Restaurant in Rynek Glowny (Market Square) In the centre of the old town. Built after the Tatars obliterated the city that stood there in 1241, this square is one of the largest in Europe.

Overnight: Krakow

DAY 6: Sunday July 5 — Lodz

Morning: Depart to Lodz

  • Visit Kielce en route (time permitting)

Lunch: on own - on way

Afternoon: The second largest city in Poland, one third of Lodz's population was Jewish before WWII.

  • Bracka Street, where the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe lies. The extensively restored cemetery is filled with monuments, paths and a mass-grave in an open field.
  • Radegast Railroad Station, where Jews were sent by cattle car to Chelmno and Auschwitz. Visit the Radegast Station Memorial and museum.
  • Walk through the area of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, second largest Jewish ghetto in Poland (after Warsaw). Many of the Jewish houses and buildings still stand, including the only synagogue remaining in Lodz.
  • Poznanski Palace Museum — In 19th century, Izrael Kalman Poznanski, owner of the palace and the textile factory in Lodz, was known as the “King of cotton”. The Poznanski Palace is one of the largest and greatest residences of its type. The Poznanski family owned three other palaces, but the one on Ogrodowa Street in Lodz was the grandest. Numerous members of the Pozna?ski family emigrated from Poland before the Second World War. After the war, the factory was nationalized, and subsequently closed.

Dinner: restaurant TBC

Overnight: Lodz

DAY 7: Monday July 6 — Lublin

Morning: Depart for Lublin

  • Guided walk through Old Lublin (time permitting) – Once the third largest Jewish population in Poland, Lublin was arguably the most important center of Jewish life, culture and learning in Europe. Known as the "Jewish Oxford", the city was also home of the Council of the Four Lands, the most important political body for Jews in Poland and Lithuania in the 16th century.

Lunch: on own

Afternoon: Guided visit to Majdanek – Located on the outskirts of Lublin, it was the largest concentration and extermination camp outside the German Reich. A small number of barracks still stands, some of which house an important and moving exhibit.

Drive to Warsaw

Dinner: at hotel

Overnight: Warsaw

DAY 8: Tuesday July 7 — Tykochin and Treblinka

Morning:

  • Tykochin – a small shtetl in Bialystok region, northeastern Poland. In 1522, 10 Jewish families from Grodno were invited by the noble family to settle there. By 1897 the Jewish population comprised 59% of the population. The 2,000 Jews still living there in 1941 were murdered together in a nearby forest. Visit the beautifully restored Baroque synagogue that now houses a Jewish and local history museum.
  • Lopuchowa Forest —The somber and moving site of mass graves where Tykochin’s Jewish community was executed in August 1941.

Lunch: Boxed lunch

Afternoon: Guided visit to Treblinka – Exhibit and memorial site of the extermination camp that in northeast Poland where more than 800,000 Jews were killed, as well as an undetermined number of Romani (Gypsy) people. In operation from 1942-1943, the site was selected because it was sparsely populated and because the heavily wooded area provided security. Today 17,000 stone markers stand as silent reminders to the destroyed Jewish communities. One stone commemorates an individual: Janusz Korczak, a physician, educator, writer and advocate for children’s rights who was murdered at Treblinka along with his orphans. In March 2014, archaeologists unearthed unprecedented physical evidence documenting the extent of the killing at the Nazis' Treblinka death camp in Poland. Their discovery was documented on film.

Dinner: Dinner on own

Overnight: Warsaw

DAY 9: Wednesday July 8

Morning:

  • Gensia (Okapowa St.) Cemetery —Warsaw’s largest Jewish cemetery with 250,000 people buried in 200,000 graves. Special gravestones exist for the Kohanim (priests). Mass graves for 300 victims of the Nazis can be found, as well as gravestones for those who perished in the Warsaw ghetto and Jewish officers and enlisted men in the Polish army who lost their lives defending Warsaw in 1939. Some of the more famous gravestones include, I.L. Peretz (writer), Meir Balaban (historian), Esther Kaminska (actress) and Dr. Zaminhoff (the creator of Esperanto). There is also a statue commemorating Janusz Korczak. Adam Czerniakow, the head of the Warsaw Judenrat who killed himself during the war to protest the killing of Jewish children, was given special dispensation for burial in the cemetery.
  • Warsaw Ghetto sites – Established in November 1940, the ghetto, surrounded by a wall, confined nearly 500,000 Jews. Almost 45,000 Jews died there in 1941 alone, due to overcrowding, forced labor, lack of sanitation, starvation, and disease. From April 19 to May 16, 1943, a revolt took place in the ghetto when the Germans, commanded by General Jürgen Stroop, attempted to raze the ghetto and deport the remaining inhabitants to Treblinka. The uprising, led by Mordecai Anielewicz, was the first instance in occupied Europe of an uprising by an urban population.
    • Warsaw Ghetto Memorial Track – Visit sites related to Jewish persecution and resistance including: Mila 18, the headquarters "bunker" of Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; Umschagplatz, the staging area from which 300,000 Jews were deported; Rappaport Monument to the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
  • Nozyk Synagogue – built in 1899, it is the only surviving pre-war synagogue in Warsaw.
  • Remnant of Warsaw Ghetto wall

Lunch: TBC

Afternoon:

  • Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Warsaw’s newest museum sits on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The cornerstone was laid in 2007, the museum first opened on April 19, 2013. It currently functions as a cultural and educational center with a rich cultural program. The core exhibit immerses visitors in the world of Polish Jews from their arrival in “Po-lin” as traveling merchants in medieval times until today.
    • After tour of museum, meet with a Righteous Among the Nations (health permitting), the term applied to non-Jews who, at the risk of their own lives, saved Jews from their Nazi persecutors.
  • Janusz Korczak’s Orphanage – Korczak, an educator, author and pediatrician, dedicated himself to promoting the rights of children, and was one of the first people in history to assert that children deserve full respect and dignity. As the orphanage is still in use today, often it is not possible to enter the building.)
  • Walk through Lazienki Park, visit Chopin Monument

Dinner: Farewell Banquet Warsaw’s Old Town, rebuilt from the rubble after 85% was destroyed during WWII; declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

Overnight: Warsaw

Day 10: Thursday July 9

8 AM Transfer to airport

Return flights
Air Berlin AB 8212 from Warsaw departs 10:40 a.m. and arrives Berlin Tegel 12:05 p.m.
Air Berlin AB 7248 from Berlin departs 1:00 p.m. and arrives JFK 3:45 p.m.

The itinerary is preliminary and is subject to change.

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HOTEL INFO

These hotels are subject to change. In the event of any change, you will stay in a hotel of similar quality.


CLIMATE INFO FOR GERMANY/POLAND - JUNE/JULY

  • Average High Temp: 71-77° F
  • Average Low Temp: 54-58° F
 

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