Treblinka. Our last stop in Poland. There is nothing to see here but memorials, which is more than fitting because it was where my grandparents' families lost their lives. Their last stop. Nothing to remember them by.

850,000 are murdered here. There was no selection - it was just straight to the gas.

It is isolate and forlorn and freezing and getting dark when we get there. The trees ringing the site are tall and thick. Our voices echo off them back to ourselves.

There is large memorial ringed by hundreds of upright stones - tombstones for entire villages and towns. Dov and I quickly find the one for our town - Sokolow Podlaski - large and prominent.

Dov decides we will pray Maariv next to the Sokolow stone. As we begin to pray, the words of the Shema catch in my throat. It is almost impossible to choke them out. So many people said those same last words right here at this spot in the cold Polish woods. So many it is inconceivable.

But here we are - Dov and I. Children of Sokolow. We are still here and we still cry out to Hashem standing on the site meant to exterminate us. They did not succeed.
In a few hours we will be flying to Israel. To be a free people in our land. להיות עם חופשי בארצנו

Orie Niedzviecki


Moshe Carmeli in Sokolow

In Treblinka

With me

Mass grave

My Grandfather - Shlomo.
My Grandmother - Hava.
Their daughters - Haya and Feige.
Their sons - Menachem, Hersh (Zvi, my father) and Bunim.
The family name was Ciechanowiecki.
We changed to Carmeli in Israel.
Moshe Carmeli

Courtesy: Moshe Carmeli

Stutman Family

Hana, Moshe and Nahum Stutman, Passover of 1935, home of the photographer of Sokolow, Wąs.

Courtesy: Ash Kelon / Facebook