Poland is not only the extermination camps, it is not only ghettos, Poland is a tourist country with a wide variety of attractions well-known worldwide – Classical Europe in every way.
In Israel we are familiar with Poland in terms of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Warsaw and Krakow and to summarize in 2 words we know the “Jewish Poland”.
The TMR Warshavsky Company would like to allow Israelis to combine visiting the charming and touristic Poland with some Jewish history and we offer an example of a week-long trip begining in northern Poland.
Of course, an organized group can make changes and extend or shorten the trip as it desires in agreement with the organizers of the group.
We begin our tour in the city of Szczecin in northwestern Poland. The city of Szczecin is the capital of the Western Pomerania District, and in the past was the capital of the Duchy of Pomerania. It is a city with a rich Jewish history. On 9 – 10 November 1938 the main synagogues in Szczecin were destroyed in the “Kristallnacht” riots. Between 1938 and 1939 the Gestapo confiscated the archives of the Jewish communities in the city, including a list of Jewish families. And so the first twelve hundred Jews of Szczecin were transported to Lublin, in the transfer of February 1940.
After we leave the city of Szczecin we travel to the city of Gdansk. Gdansk, like other parts of Poland suffered dreadful destruction during World War II, but its ancient region was restored in the most beautiful and impressive manner. Today it has the intense fragrance of a European city with many years of tradition. Gdansk is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Poland.
From Gdansk we will travel to Malbork Castle, which is very impressive and is the largest brick-built castle in Europe.
From the Malbork Castle we continue to Gizycko, where the following morning we will visit the Wolf’s Lair (Hitler’s headquarters), and the Masurian Lake District. Gizycko is a resort town in northeastern Poland, located in the Masurian Lake District. It is the seat of the Gizycko District, and is located on the shores of Lake Niegocin. It has an ancient castle, a historic church, bridges and boats, and there we will spend the night.
The next morning we will drive to the Wolf’s Lair, one of the most impressive sites. The site served as one of Hitler’s Headquarters, between the years 1940 to 1945, the site also served as the Wehrmacht headquarters. The complex is located in the area of East Prussia (now Poland). The failed assasination attempt on Hitler’s life, the “July 20th Conspiracy” occurred at this site.
From the Wolf’s Lair we will continue our journey to the Masurian Lakes region in the direction of the Biebrza Park, which has an abundance of different sized bodies of water, that are interconnected. We will visit the remains of destroyed fortresses built as a defense against invasion in the late 19th century.
We will then proceed to the town of Białowieża, where we will spend the night, before the visit to Białowieża Park the following day.
The Białowieża Forest is a Nature Reserve of a “primeval forest”, the last remaining one of its kind in Europe. We will visit the park and the palace located in the reserve.
From there we travel to the city of Krakow arriving towards evening and will spend the night. The next day we visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps until the afternoon and then return to Krakow and tour the enchanting city with all its aspects of history. On Friday, the next day, after sleeping over in Kracow, we will tour the city of Krakow and spend the Sabbath in Krakow according to Jewish tradition. The trip is Sabbath observant, but it should not prevent us from enjoying the many fascinating and remarkable sites in Krakow. Sabbath observers among us are invited to pray in the synagogues active in the city, and we will eat all Sabbath meals at a Glatt Kosher restaurant, traditional Jewish food.
On Sunday morning we drive to the city of Warsaw, and visit sites of Jewish interest, such as the ancient cemeteries of the city of Warsaw, the Path of Heroism, the Jewish Museum across from the Rappaport Monument, the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. We will also visit some of the cheapest shopping centers in the city and towards the end of the day, we will drive to the airport and return to Israel.
This is a trip of eight amazing days in northern and central Poland.