Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grandpa Arrives

My Dad flew over to visit us during our last weeks there.  He first flew into Frankfurt Germany and drove a few hours into eastern France to the area where his great grandfather was from.  He was able to work on his family history and find some documents relating to his family.  After a week in France he flew to Poland.  David and the 3 boys and I went to the Krakow airport to meet his plane to find out it was delayed a few minutes.  The Krakow airport is very small.  We asked at the info desk when the plane would be in and were told it was going to land any minute.  The kids needed to use the bathroom, and after we came back from the bathrooms we found out that the plane was not going to land, but had to fly to a nearby airport because there was too much fog in Krakow.  The plane landed in Katowice, which is 1.5 hours away.  We decided that David should take the kids home, as it was almost bedtime, and get them to bed.  I stayed at the airport waiting.  We were told that they would bus the passengers from the Katowice airport to Krakow.  3.5 hours later, he finally arrived.

While he was visiting we went back to Auschwitz so Grandpa could see it.  We also visited Schindler's Factory in Krakow.  If you have seen the movie Schindler's list, this is the factory where Oskar Schindler kept many Jews employed and safe from being murdered.  He saved around 1000 Jews from death.  The factory has recently been turned into a museum about the life of the Jews during the Nazi occupation of Krakow.   We also went to see the Jewish Ghetto area of Krakow where the Jews that were allowed to remain in the city to work were kept.  Having this opportunity to learn about the holocaust and to visit these sites has left a mark on our hearts and minds.  We have given much thought to how we treat others and have a greater desire to remember that we are all children of the same Father in Heaven, and that he loves all of us no matter what our differences are.

We also visited a new museum in Krakow under the the Rynek or town square.  A few years ago they excavated a large portion of the Rynek and then built a museum under the existing ground level of the Rynek and the Cloth Hall building there.  The Cloth Hall building is over a 1000 years old.  The ground level when it was built was many meters below the current ground level.  As they excavated they kept it intact so it is now viewable under ground.  It was fascinating to view the original cobblestone roads built 1000 years ago, and then view the many layers each time they rebuilt.

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