Maximilian Kolbe Werk & Majdanek (Lublin)
Cześć! My name is Mona and I am doing a volunteer service in Lublin, Poland. In my project I work at the Memorial site Majdanek, a former German concentration camp, as well as at the Maximillian-Kolbe-Werk, an organization which supports former prisoners and victims of the National Socialism. For example, I help the local association of former prisoners of Majdanek at their meetings every Wednesday. Moreover I was invited by a few former prisoners to their homes.
They are very friendly and hospitable, so I really enjoyed these visits!
They usually give me a lot of food and actually I had the feeling like I would only eat. Moreover they even offered me vegan food. I got extra homemade pierogi with sauerkraut and lentils. Another man even brought vegan coconut yogurt for me. That was really nice and I was positively surprised how open they are towards my diet. Apart from eating, we talked about different topics and they tried to speak as clear and slowly as possible so that I could understand them. For example they showed me many pictures of their family. One man also gave me Polish books to help me learn the language. It was a good practice and experience for me to try to have something like a real conversation in Polish and it definitely motivated me to improve my language skills!
During the weekly meetings of the association they mainly talk to each other, so my visits were also great to get to know them better. Moreover I also enjoyed these visits because I could learn more about Polish culture and traditions. I also want to mention a really cute situation with a former prisoner, who gave me a flower, which is now standing on my window-sill. Earlier, he offered me and his wife some kind of strong alcohol. The picture of me with a cup of coffee and a shot glass at a Monday morning in Lublin is firmly in my head and it always makes me smile.