Charles Wright Academy established an exchange program with a 7th, 8th, and 9th grade school in Świdnik, in Eastern Poland. Every year groups of CWA students and Polish students visit each other's school.


Sharon and Robert (along with Patti Crouch and Leslie White) went along as chaperones. Because of Robert's position as Headmaster, the Headmaster of the school in Świdnik insisted in giving Robert and Sharon the "red carpet treatment." This was a mixed blessing, as it meant that they were not able to participate fully in the experiences of the students.


After the student portion of the trip ended, Robert and Sharon spent more time in Eastern Europe, visiting Kraków, Vienna, and Prague.


One of the most meaningful, though difficult, parts of the trip was the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The camp is so well preserved that it was hard to believe that the horrors that took place there were 60 years in the past. It was a wet day, and when we neared the ruins of the crematorium (which has been undisturbed since the war), it was possible to smell the ash. It was sobering for Robert to walk along the railway line that is in the famous photo and realize that due to his one Jewish grandfather, the trip to the camp during the war would have been a one way voyage.

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