A Trip to Terezin

This past Friday CEA gave students the opportunity to take a day trip to Terezin and Lidice. Terezin was a concentration camp in the Czech Republic and Lidice is a small town that was completely destroyed during the Holocaust. So many of my extended family members lived through and were affected by World War II in Europe so I decided it was an important trip to go on. We got on an hour bus ride and were greeted by our tour guides in Terezin. It was chilling from the start as we walked by a massive cemetery. The concentration camp was pretty small, but it was enough to get a sense of the terrible ways people were treated.

The main courtyard in Terezin

The main courtyard in Terezin

We walked through the tiny living quarters and learned about the various torture methods prisoners had to endure. My friends and I kept talking about how the experience put everything into perspective. We were complaining about how chilly we were in the fifty degree weather, while we learned that prisoners were forced to take cold showers and whipped in the midst of winter. It was so different to be there walking through history and learning about events from the Holocaust compared to being lectured in school.

One section of the living quarters

Washrooms

After we finished up our tour in Terezin we stopped at a restaurant and got a taste of some Czech cuisine. I cannot say that I am the biggest fan, but it was an interesting experience to say the least. Vegan Czech cuisine is not a thing. On our way home we stopped in Lidice. There was a small museum that was equally as powerful as Terezin. There were short films about survivors experiences and photos/memorabilia of those who passed in the giant massacre. Walking through I was trying to hold back tears, imagining what life must have been like for everyone during the war. After quickly walking through the museum and small rose garden we all got back on the bus and headed back for Prague.

A small memorial in the concentration camp

Terezin ghetto

The short trip was a really good experience. I think it is important to experience historical sites like these to get a better sense of previous struggle. Even though certain aspects of the trip were hard to process or devastating to learn about, it was a really moving day and I am glad I got to opportunity to do it.

Dalia B. is the Fall 2017 MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a Junior studying Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz.

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