Back in 2019, the ADJCP announced the organization of a Memorial Trip to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghettos and the murder of the Jews in our area of Central Poland. The trip, which had been originally planned for the Spring of 2022, was postponed to the Spring of 2023 because of the COVID pandemic. While the precise dates are yet to be determined, we can now confirm that the trip will take place during the second half of April 2023.
The preliminary planning for the Memorial Trip has involved several meetings of the ADJCP board and repeated consultations with our mailinglist subscribers. Those discussions allowed us to outline a general blueprint for a six-day trip program of activities (see answers to practical questions below).
The trip will include memorial ceremonies, a variety of tours and cultural activities, and guided visits to the towns of Central Poland and the site of the extermination camp at Chelmno. To determine the precise itinerary of the trip (which towns will be included in the program), the members of the trip’s organizing committee will conduct a poll asking the potential participants to specify the towns they want to visit. With this information in hand, they will travel to Poland in September 2022 to coordinate the trip’s logistics with our partners (Jewish institutions and local Polish authorities and civil organizations).
Lodging, transportation, and translators: The group will stay in one place, taking one of the largest towns in the area as a base (Kutno or Wloclawek) and finding a hotel that can accommodate everybody for all the days of the visit. For transportation we will charter a large bus from a local company that will pick us up at Warsaw airport, move us around during the days of the visit, and drop us off at Warsaw airport on the last day. There will be translators accompanying us in all the activities.
Main activities and visiting the towns: The last day of the visit will be devoted to one of the region’s forced labor camps and the Chelmno death camp. For the other days, we anticipate two important evening activities: a symposium with representatives of Jewish institutions in Poland and a cultural event with people from Polish civil organizations interested in local/regional history. These two activities will take place in Kutno and Wloclawek, in each case culminating a day devoted to the visit of the town. We will spend two days visiting the other, smaller towns. For such visits we will split up into sub-groups with different itineraries. Since the visits will be tailored to the interests of the participants, the actual organization of the sub-groups will be announced when the final list of participants is available. To get an idea of what happens in a typical visit to a town, you can have a look at the guidebook of a memorial trip to Gombin and Gostynin that took place in 2019:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X8n19ytRUVsOm-w7Dzog7KswgU4Yd2ep/view?usp=sharing.
Trip costs: The participants will pay for their own flights, hotel stay, and some meals. We estimate that the individual payment for all the other costs will be less than $1000 (including all transportation, guides, translation services, museum tickets, other meals, trip guidebook, and a reimbursable fund for unanticipated expenses).
Kosher food: Can be arranged through a guaranteed service that delivers to your hotel anywhere in Poland, but it is expensive. Veggie food is very easy to arrange.
Visiting other places: Trip participants interested in staying longer to visit other places (like Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, etc) can organize such visits on their own or through one of the tour agencies specialized in Jewish itineraries in Poland. We will offer guidance and suggest resources upon request.
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