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Updates from the KMS Trip to Poland - July 6

David Makovsky

The KMS trip to Poland is currently underway.  Approximately 40 people are visiting sites across Poland that speak to the history, strength, and resilience of the Jewish people. They will stand and mourn in places of unspeakable tragedy and destruction contemplating the horrific loss that we endured as a people. Some participants are visiting places where their families lived and where their families died. Those that made the trip are representatives of KMS and its members.  They carry upon their shoulders the many neshamot of relatives who died and of those who survived.

KMS member, David Makovsky, is on the trip with his wife Varda.  He has been sharing some of his reflections on his Facebook page, which we have reprinted here with his permission.  KMS President, Saul Newman, is also on the trip and has shared his own reflections on a very moving experience he had today.  Keep following the blog for more updates.

July 6, 2018 - Split screen reality of Poles during the Holocaust. Some 6,000 Poles are recognized by Israel for heroism for hiding Polish Jews (called Righteous Gentiles by Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum). It was heroic since Nazis would kill Poles —if they uncovered that they were hiding Jews. (It is estimated that 70 percent of those Poles who hid Jews didn’t even know them, but felt it was right thing to do.) At the same time, Poles killed Jews en masse in about three dozen towns/villages out of 950 communities—mostly in northeast Poland near Lithuania where such shooting was more commonplace.
This morning visited bucolic village of Markova in southern Poland which illuminates the complex split-screen reality. The Ulmow family hid two Jewish families: Szallow/Goldman. After 18 months of doing so, Nazis uncovered them in March 1944 —killing just the Ulmow couple (pregnant wife) but also their six children. Next day 24 Jews are found dead in nearby fields, apparently amid fears that Nazis would uncover them for protecting Jews. Why not just release them? Perhaps they fear that the Jews would be tortured by Nazis and they would give confession about where they were being hid. Below is a small monument tucked away in this village in tribute to the Ulmow Family who were murdered by the Nazis. Complex reality.

From Saul Newman:

July 6, 2018 - This morning was one of the highlights of my life as I went to Zolynia, my grandparents’ shtetl, and saw the gravestone of my great great great grandmother. First Buchen or Sauer in Zolynia for 80 years and went with my cousins.


Tue, September 22 2020 4 Tishrei 5781