Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Amidst Sunshine, The Distant Chill Of A Troubled History

As we travel through Eastern Europe we are currently enjoying our time in Krakow.
This city, which sits along a winding river was one of the few parts of Poland that was largely untouched by World War II.
It survived the German occupation and the Germans left just about all of the historic city intact.
The great university here survived even though many of its professors were sent to concentration camps where many of them perished.
Also, the countless great works of art that that this city enjoyed were either taken by the Nazis and shuttled away to Hitler's private museum or hidden away if they had the good fortune to be "saved".
Sadly, thousands of these were lost. Only a relatively small portion were returned to Krakow.
Of course, this city is but a short distance from Auschwitx so reminders of the horrors of Nazism are very real here. And this was the home of  Schindler -- this is where his factory was. So, it's all very present even amidst the beautiful university campus, the spacious plazas and the lush parks of this verdant city.
Today, this is a very young city.
More than one in five persons here is a student.
So, it's a fresh, inviting, spirited, lively town of about 750,000 people.
At this time of year it can be gloriously sunny one minute and then cloudy the next.
So, sometimes, as you turn a corner the quick chill of an earlier time may makes itself know.

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