It's been five months since my trip to Warsaw. I think about it almost every day. (It's hard not to while I am doing research for my book.) I decided that I will go back in 2012 when the Museum of the History of Polish Jews opens. Maybe this time Husband will come with me, but if not, I will again go with a friend who can tolerate such a sad trip. For now, I'm sitting at my computer on an unusually warm and sunny November afternoon, remembering. The weather today is not unlike what is was the day that I visited the Treblinka Extermination Camp. This is a photo I took there: Memorial at Treblinka Extermination Camp By the time the Germans decided to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto, Jewish members of the underground resistance had confirmed that those deported were not being resettled in the east, but killed at the Treblinka death camp. Many (if not most) members of the community refused to believe it. It was too much, I think, to consider, because really what did it mean? As Tevye says many times in the Sholem Alecheim stories, "...a Jew in particular has to accept everything on faith and say, 'That too is for the best. God probably wants it that way.'" (He also notes, "...a Jew, so long as he has a breath of life in him, cannot give up hope.")

Not everyone was like this, however. Some - mainly young adults in Zionist groups - accepted the truth, tried to help others confront the facts, and prepared to resist. Before the poet Władysław Szlengel was killed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, he wrote the poem, "A Small Station Called Treblinka:"

On the line between Tluszcz and Warsaw From the railway station Warsaw - East You get out of the station and travel straight…

The journey lasts sometimes 5 hours and 45 minutes more and sometimes the same journey lasts a whole life until your death …

And the station is very small three fir trees grow there and a regular signboard saying here is the small station of Treblinka... here is the small station of Treblinka...

And not even a cashier gone is the cargo man and for a million zloty you will not get a return ticket

And nobody waits for you in the station and nobody waves a handkerchief towards you only silence hung there in the air to welcome you in the blind wilderness.

And silent are the three fir trees and silent is the black board because here is the small station of Treblinka... here is the small station of Treblinka...

And only a commercial board stands still: "Cook only by gas"

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