On this day in 1920, Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice, Poland. Pictured is me and my friend Claire eating the pope’s favourite cake, kremówka, in his hometown.
Today I find myself thinking about Janusz Korczak. A Polish-Jewish author, teacher, pediatrician, and orphanage director, he refused to leave the orphans during the Second World War even though he was offered refuge. The Nazis murdered him, together with the children, at the death camp called Treblinka.
Having lived in Europe for a couple years and spent time in Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, and Lithuania, I’ve had the opportunity to see Holocaust memorials in several different countries.
On this date last year, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was ablaze in a serious fire. Three months prior to the fire, my friend Jacqueline and I were visiting the church. Here are my reflections from then:
On this date, fifteen years ago, Pope John Paul II died. I remember this time well because I was 14 at the time and the news of his death was, paradoxically, also the biggest news to me of his life. Before his death, I’d heard his name my whole life but I hadn’t really gottenContinue reading “The day John Paul II died”
When the Polish government passed a bill on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in an effort to criminalize attributing responsibility for the Holocaust to Poles, many Israeli leaders and Jews became furious considering the move tantamount to a form of Holocaust denial. The proposed legislation reads: “Whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the facts, that theContinue reading “Poland: Righteous Among the Nations?”
Without question, among the 100+ summer schools/programs/conferences, etc. that I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED, the Tertio Millennio Seminar ranks among the top five. The three-week, fully-funded seminar centred on Catholic social teaching takes place annually in Poland. The seminar includes: basking in the beauty of Poland’s churches, grappling with the difficult history of the twentieth century,Continue reading “Apply: Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society”
Applications are open until January 15, 2018 for Canadians interested in participating in the March of Remembrance and Hope Holocaust Study Trip to Germany and Poland. The program is intense, exhausting, heart-wrenching — this is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done. Truly not a day goes by that I do not recall the trip in some way.