Before I start this portion of Day #1, I’d like to point out a small incident. Being a first time international traveler, it is so fascinating how the locals look at you, and not only that but some even photographed us if they were feeling bold. We must appear quite American.

Now, to the important part. This evening we visited a ghetto in the Jewish Quarter. To the average person, this may sound like the run-down, violent, poverty stricken areas of town in our country.. It is very different. This was an area where nazis forced Jews to live during the Holocaust. This one in particular housed 10,000 (if I heard our tour guide correctly) at this time for a month and a half.

Iga, our tour guide on the lower left, stressed the fact that this means people were stuffed in like sardines — each building was in a square shape, with an outdoor center area. This area wasn’t any larger then about 30 feet wide.

Now, try to put yourself here. It might be easier said than done, but it’s unreal and bone chilling and wow…

To think that this area held such a large amount of people who were held in by one small gate, until their execution. They eventually marched the same streets we were walking on. I tried my best to envision their exact living conditions but even this was difficult.

This was just a tiny portion of the overall ghetto. It is now used for housing, restaurants, and clothing boutiques. I’m writing this at 3 AM with extreme jet lag and time adjustment confusion, I’ll get used to it soon. More later.