Monday, April 18, 2011
Day 8 - Prague to Olomouc
We ended our stay in Prague and enjoyed a restful and educational bus ride to Olomouc. After a two hour nap and a rest stop, Shalmi explained the Jewish celebration of Passover, since the Jewish community of Olomouc has invited us to their community seder this evening. Because there are only four Jewish students on this trip, many of us have never been to a Passover Seder.
After lunch in Olomouc, our Czech guide, Ilona, gave us a walking tour, the fifth largest in the Czech Republic.
We walked to the Jewish Community building, and were greeted by Petr Papousek, the head of the Jewish Community of Olomouc. He told us his life story, and how he grew up not even knowing he was Jewish until after the Velvet Revolution in 1988. His grandfather, Milos Dobry, first told Petr his stories of surviving the Holocaust, even though he had never told his children. Milos, who is 88 years old and frequently speaks to student groups, then told us his story of surviving both Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. It is thanks to Milos Dobry that the Jewish Community in Olomouc is thriving today, and it is also thanks to Milos that we know about the rescuers of the Wolf family in Trsice.
Following the inspirational testimony by Milos, we entered the dining hall of the Jewish Community and had a wonderful Seder experience.