Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Exploring Thessaloniki

Ashley Bruce
Blog #6
29 March 2013
Exploring Thessaloniki
            The day of my birthday March 28th, we traveled and arrived in Thessaloniki. I have never been on a train so long in my life before! Thessaloniki was a bit colder than Athens which I’m assuming was because we were on the coast! When we arrived we had some free time to walk around. We walked along the breezy and rainy coastline. We grabbed a bite to eat and eventually met back up with the whole class. From there, as a class we went to the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki. This was the first thing we did on our 10 day excursion to get us ready for our further studies on the holocaust. In 1917 there was a great fire that broke out and destroyed most of the Jewish quarter in the heart of Thessaloniki. This museum was one of the buildings that made it through the massive fire. Before it became a museum, it was once the Bank of Athens and was also offices to the Jewish newspaper “L’ Independent.” This museum taught me a lot about the Jewish history from anywhere between the 15th century up to the war and after the war. The bottom floor showed monumental stones and inscriptions. These stones and inscriptions were found in the Jewish necropolis. Also on the first floor are photographs showing the cemetery in 1914. The one thing that stood out to me the most in the museum was the library. As we were walking around I looked at the library through its doors and thought to myself that it just looks like a normal library and it probably has nothing to do with the museum. As I wandered through it I realized that this library actually had important books and texts that were printed out in the 16th-20th century.  These books and texts explained the Jewish life, language, customs, and their practice of their religion. My favorite part about this museum was the audio visual center. This is where I could watch and research tapes and films on the holocaust. This museum wasn’t that large of a museum, therefore it was not an information overload, which I enjoyed. After the museum, we then had one of our traditional Greek dinners, and then celebrated my 21st birthday! I won’t go into detail about that J

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