Genocide Education Canada

Global Citizenship for the 21st Century

2012 Holocaust Mission: Lithuania, Belarus, and Poland

***Flight departs from Toronto on July 31 and returns to Toronto on August 14***
Lithuania: August 1-4
  • Kaunas Synagogue, one of the country's two remaining choral synagogues
  • Sugihara House Museum in Kaunas, a museum based in the former Japanese Consulate, where Chiune Sugihara, the Vice-Consul for Lithuania, helped over 5,000 Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas
  • site of the infamous Lietukis Pogrom, photos of which have become some of the most iconograpic images of the Holocaust
  • area of the Kaunas Ghetto
  • Seventh Fort and 9th Fort, which were sites of massacres of Jews
  • Zhezhmer, where there still stands a wooden synagogue building; for hundreds of years, such wooden houses of worship were built from the abundant wood of rural East Europe, but all but a small number were, like so much else of Jewish culture and religion, lost during the Holocaust
  • Butrimonys, where, in September 1941, some 750 Jews were murdered by Einsatzgruppen and Lithuanian collaborators
  • site of the former Great Synagogue of Vilnius, which, according to legend, left Napoleon speechless
  • area of the Vilnius Ghetto
  • Paneriai, just outside of Vilnius, were some 70,000 Jews were murdered
  • remains of a partisan camp in the Rudininkai Forest
Belarus: August 5-8
  • area of the Minsk Ghetto, the largest ghetto in Nazi-occupied Soviet territory
  • site of the Maly Trastsianiets camp, where mobile gas chambers were deployed to destroy the Jews of Minsk and surrounding areas
  • site of the village of Khatyn, which was looted and burned to the ground in response to a nearby partisan attack; some 5,000 Belarusian settlements were destroyed, and, in total, over 2,000,000 Belarusians were killed
  • historic Mir, home to a formerly world-renowned yeshiva (religious academy); including a visit to the Mir Castle Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • historic Novogrudok, once the center of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and home to some 10,000 Jews -- half the population -- before the Holocaust; including a visit to the ruins of the castle erected in the 14th Century
  • area of the Brest Ghetto and the historic Brest Fortress (Hero-Fortress), which, along with Stalingrad and Kursk, has become symbollic of Soviet resistance during the war against Nazi Germany
Poland: August 9-14
  • area of Kazimierz, the home to Krakow Jews from the 14th Century until their destruction during World War II; including the Old Synagogue, the country's oldest - 15th Century - surviving synagogue building
  • area of the Krakow Ghetto
  • sites and scenes of Steven Spielberg's film, "Schindler's List" (1993), including the site of the Plaszow camp
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which includes the sites of the former camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which, in 1942, became the largest of the death camps
  • area of the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of the ghettos and site of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the spring of 1943
  • site of Treblinka camp, where some 800,000 Jews were killed
  • Jedwabne, where, in July 1941, the Jews were killed by their gentile neighbours -- by being burned alive in a barn; this pogrom is the focus of Jan T. Gross's book, "Neighbors" (2001)
Cost -- $3,995.00 -- includes airfare from Toronto to Vilnius and from Warsaw to Toronto, shared hotel accommodations (two beds and two people per room), ground transportation (by bus), and all admissions and touring services.
Cost does not include any kind of travel insurance, including health insurance or cancellation insurance, which would need to be concluded with a travel agent; any meals (breakfasts may be included in the price of hotels dependent upon final negotiations with hotels); any ground transportation for personal (non-group) transportation outside of the official itinerary, including taxis for dinner; and any donations at sites or tips for guides.
The travel visa for entry into Belarus is also not included.