Ode to Poland, 2018

Poem created by participants on the 2018 March of the Living

I am proud to be a Jew and that my children’s children will never forget the Holocaust

Love is worth dying for because passion lasts

It is truly amazing to see that out of such evil and pure darkness, the Jewish faith can survive and flourish

We are not victims, victimization is a mindset and it is our job as Jews to thrive and enjoy the nation that our ancestors never saw as a reality

Thank you Poland for the memories, the Jewish pride and the hard work to rebuild

To my lost brothers and sisters, you are with me forever and always

When you hear a witness, you become a witness

We are not just back, we’re back and better than ever

Our bond and resilience only grows stronger

A week of the highest highs and lowest lows reminding me of my Jewish community and family

We need to keep the flame of survival alive and continue to keep equality strong

Poland gave me a lifetime experience I will never forget

A time of loving and learning

I will never forget friends like these

Never ever ever again, we are the future and with our knowledge becomes everyone else’s knowledge

Jerusalem is our capital- It will be forever

I learned that the atrocities of the human spirit can lead to hope, and the importance of not being a bystander

We live to be free- that is how we honor G-d and those who were sacrificed on the altar of hate

I will take all this new information and treasure it forever

It is now our duty to tell their story

To pay respects to those innocents that perished and emphasize that this must never happen again

We have learned about the tip of the iceberg, but we all experienced everything beneath the surface

While I always tried my absolute best to be kind and compassionate to all who I come in contact with, this week in Poland reminded me of just how important it was to have that habit

The Jewish people will never forget the Holocaust because they will never forget

The children smiled and waved an the people said to us there is hope

To remember never to forget does not mean we are victims, we are survivors who build and carry on

Never again starts with the youth- and the youth are strong!