Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 8 Prague to Olomouc

After our bus ride from Prague, we set out on a walking tour of Olomouc with our guide, Ilona.
We happened upon a beautiful Catholic church just off the square, and climbed the tower to the top. Once down, we went inside and listened to a beautiful rehearsal of organ, cello and vocalists.

We met our friend, Petr Papousek, the director of the Jewish Community of Olomouc at the Jewish Community Center. There, Petr's grandfather, Milos Dobry, shared his experiences during the Holocaust. Milos grew up in Prague, and survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. After the Holocaust, he moved to Olomouc, and eventually became the secretary of the Jewish community.

In fact, Milos Dobry is responsible for the rescuers of the Wolf family being recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles. Milos is also responsible for helping us locate the mayor of Trsice, who has been instrumental in the process of building the memorial at the hiding place in the woods.

Seeing Milos meet Alexandra Zapruder, and watching them talk was inspirational. While there, a film crew from a Czech news station filmed footage for the 7 o'clock news.

After our time at the Jewish Community Center, we were met at the hotel by Eva Garda, and her husband Tony. Eva is the niece of Otto Wolf, and daughter of Otto's sister Lici.

How many students get to study a book in class, meet and become friends with the author, and finally travel to the place where the diary was written to dedicate a memorial to the history studied in class? We know that without Alexandra Zapruder's book Salvaged Pages which brought us here, and that without the dedication and hard work of Milos Dobry and his grandson Petr, this would not be possible.We enjoyed a lovely dinner with our friends from Jewish community and Eva and Tony.

Tomorrow we will be going to Trsice for the dedication, where we will be joined by many Czech dignitaries, the rescuers of the Wolf family, and members of the Czech community.


  1. Looks like you got to take in some great views and experiences today. Tomorrow will be a very exciting day, looking forward to the pictures and the updates from the ceremony!

    Have a great Monday!

  2. Sounds like you all had a great day. I enjoy hearing about all of your travels. What a great experience you are all having. Tomorrow is going to be such an incredible day. Savor every moment because you will all be part of living History! Can't wait to hear all about it!!!
    Joan McCann

  3. The pictures are amazing. All of it sounds like an unforgettable "classroom".Looking forward to hearing about what happens in Trisce. All the best, Mrs. Collentine

  4. It still amazes me with everything you all get to see and hear. No matter how many times I see the same thing, I am still in awe.

    Wishing all of you a great day tomorrow and enjoy the dedication.

    Mr. Pevny

  5. We had the opportunity to speak with Allison before your dinner tonight and patiently waited for the blog posting today.
    The pictures are beautiful.
    WOW! Not many students get to study a book in class, meet and become friends with the author, and finally travel to the place where the diary was written to dedicate a memorial to the history studied in class.
    Thank you Mrs. T, Mr. Chang, Mrs. Bauman, Ms. Sussman, and New Milford Board of Ed for giving our children this wonderful opportunity.
    Hope you have nice weather for the dedication tomorrow.

  6. Once again I am SOOO jealous of all you guys!! I hope you enjoyed meeting Milos and Eva today, and seeing the sights of Olomouc. You all have a very important day ahead of you tomorrow!! Make sure to take lots of pictures and videos of the dedication I cannot wait to read about it tomorrow and I wish SO SO SO SO much that I could be there with you guys!! This dedication is an amazing thing!!

    Aside from that I hope you are all having a good time and learning a lot!! Ask Shalmi EVERYTHING that you have questions about!!! He is a brilliant man who you can learn so much from so do not be afraid to ask.


  7. The second to last paragraph of this post really exemplifies what this experience is all about (i.e. authentic learning that cannot be replicated in a classroom). Enjoy the dedication today!

  8. The views of Olomouc brought back many happy memories of my childhood. Get Milos to show you where the old synagogue used to be. It was bunt down just a few days after the Nazis marched in on March 15th 1939. Say Hello to Milos from me; I hope he still remembers me. I read the blog avidly every day. What a momentous journey you are having. I wiah you all the evry best for thee rest of it.

  9. Amazing. Milos Dobry is one of my biggest inspirations. He represents true courage and is such a humble, loving man who has been through more than any of us could imagine. He teaches us all to take a stand for what we believe, a lesson to carry through each and every day.

  10. The blog has been great this year. It seems that you are having an excellent learning experience and that you are working incredibly hard. I know that you must be exhausted at the end of the day, but please know that the blog's updates are appreciated. It has been both informative and insightful. The questions that have been posed by Mr. Barmore, the information and perspective presented by your tour guide Olaf, and the comments by all the students have certainly provided us, here at home, with a great deal to discuss. I am fascinated how each year we learn something new and see something that you experience through a new and different perspective. Everyone seems to be fully engaged in the learning, and the photos and accompanying comments help us to feel like we are part of the trip.

    My World History classes have been following the blog, and it has generated several questions and comments from the students. I tried to encourage them to post to the blog but some of the students were more comfortable having me post their comments for them. So…

    “It was so touching how the group explained what they experienced…the burning books written by the Jews really touched me. I thought it was cruel and unnecessary.”

    “How has the experience changed your point of view of people? What were your emotions at the Wannsee House?"

    “Reading about the women silently protesting for their husbands and children really changed my view of what people did to try to stop the Nazis.”

    “I was fascinated by all the sights to see in Prague. I also found it unusual that even the people that did not identify themselves as Jewish were classified as one. Another thing I found interesting was when the Jews were forced to wear a yellow hat outside of the ghettos and it was meant to be disrespectful. The Jews actually used the color yellow as a symbol of pride which I found inspiring.”

    We are anxiously awaiting today’s post about the dedication ceremony. All our best as you continue your journey - we look forward to hearing your stories upon your return!

  11. What an amazing experience you all are having! I look forward to your daily posts. I'm so proud of you's hard to believe that just a few years ago you were talking about this experience during your 8th grade conferences and now here you are living it. Congratulations and best of luck for the remainder of your trip!
    Mrs. Tricario

  12. I am so fascinated by all of this wonderful information and beautiful photographs of your travels. I'm sure you are all having an amazing experience. The beautiful Catholic church that you came upon is such a breathtaking site. That is a beautiful picture! I'm sure the organ, cello and vocalists sounded outstanding. Good luck, stay safe.

  13. The singing was so beautiful, it didn't sound real! That must have been inpirational watching those two men meet. Learning about this part in history and hearing about Milos and Zapruder makes me want to read the entire Salvaged Pages book!

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  15. During my years at Hebrew School I was lucky enough to meet and talk with a holocaust survivor. Unfortunately, I was very young and wasn't able to take advantage of the oppurtunity. It is an amazing gift to be able to talk to someone who experienced tragedy during the war. Holocaust survivors are the most inspirational people and to be able to hear their experiences truly is a blessing. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I hope each and every person cherished the time spent with Milos Dobry.

  16. Seems like such a difference between this Catholic church and the one which signed a non-interference treaty with Nazi Germany. I think solidarity between people of all races and ideologies is very important in the process of protecting people from tragedies like the Holocaust. I'm looking forward to meeting more people who survived the tragedies of the Holocaust. Their stories are also crucial in the prevention of further world atrocities.

  17. Today the children in Ms. Michels 9th grade class viewed your blog site. We especially read your pages about Auschwitz becuase we just finished the book Night. I am going to let some of them comment here under my posting. Continue to learn and have a safe trip home. Mrs. Montecuollo

    Autumn says, "This is very interesting to learn about, and really makes me want to go when im older and be able to experience this time. Keep up the writing, its very interesting to read." Justin says, "I learned something from your blog, thanks for writing."
    Hello, i just wanted to thank everyone for writing about your trip. It is so interesting. From Derek Halpin and Seungjae Sung.
    From Mike and Dan we learned a lot from your blogs.
    Thank you for sharing abobut your trip. Have a memorable time. The book Night was very sad and your pictures made it seem more realistic. Camille.
    Have a memorable time!, hope to hear all about your trip. I can not wait to go this trip it is a great experience. Safe travels! Valerie.