Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poland December 3, 2010

The war and the holocaust are more than just old memories here in Poland. People talk about them all the time and how both shaped life here today. One hears things like, "This building has a new facade because the bombings destroyed the old one. The worst pogrom took place in this town square where dozens of Jews were killed."

So far I have visited 2 synagogues in Poland, one in Warsaw and the other in Wroclaw, where I played Thursday night. Both are from before the war, and have been reconstructed. All the synagogues here were destroyed during Kristalnacht. except the one in Wroclaw because it was part of a complex of buildings off a courtyard and it was feared that it's destruction would also ruin the nearby buildings in the process. The Wroclaw synagogue was in terrible repair until several years ago when it was finally rebuilt.



Both synagogues have breathtaking acoustics. I could have played all night. In fact when I arrived in Warsaw, which was my first stop on this tour, I went inside the synagogue, heard what it sounded like and grabbed my nylon string. I took a seat near the bima in the center and played there most of the afternoon while people were preparing for a Chanukah party. I couldn't have been more content.

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