Hidden in Poland: A Jewish Family Story
Karen Treiger, a Jewish traveler from Seattle, is standing with her family at the edge of a hand-dug pit in the forests of Poland, looking down at the place where her husband’s parents hid from the Nazis. With the help of a family of Poles who risked their lives to feed and protect them, her father-in-law, Sam, and mother-in-law, Esther, survived the Holocaust.
Standing with Karen are Sam and Esther’s son and four grandchildren, alive solely because of the bravery and righteousness of this family of Polish gentiles.
This is the story revealed in Karen Treiger’s fascinating blog, destined to become a book about Sam and Esther’s survival in the midst of war and genocide, and the vital part played by the kindness of strangers.
Jewish Heart – Polish Soul
MIR’s resident expert on Jewish Heritage tours in East and Central Europe, Joanna Millick, was privileged to work closely with Karen in putting this trip together. In one entry, Karen explains how Joanna helped Karen track down the son of the people who hid her in-laws, connect with him on Skype, and set up meetings between them on her trip to Poland.
Other posts tell of the journey, and what it was like to stand in the very places where Sam and Esther hid, in the forest and in the barns of the families who helped them. Karen writes this moving story as she lives it, with all its twists and turns, discoveries, and unpredictable moments. It’s a roller coaster ride, moving from the horrific events that brought Sam and Esther to that place, to the strange and beautiful reunion of the extended families of the principal players, American Jews and Polish gentiles, in the peaceful Polish countryside.
Family Heritage Trips with MIR
Researching family names and dates can lead to an irresistible longing to see the places that shaped the family stories. MIR has a dedicated team of Private Journey Specialists, who can work with on-the-ground staff in any of our destinations to handcraft itineraries that let travelers connect with their family heritage in whatever way they wish.