What should I pack?
Students should bring a siddur and flashlight.
There is a fair amount of walking during the tour and therefore comfortable footwear is essential.
Spring and Summer tour:
We will visit forests and mosquito repellent may come in handy. A hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and an umbrella are also good to bring.
Fall and Winter tour:
Polish winters can be very cold. We spend a lot of time outdoors. Recommended are warm snow boots, thermal undergarments, a hat, scarf, gloves, and a good winter jacket.
Should we bring our own food?
Three quality meals a day are included in the price of your trip and snacks are occasionally served. However, students often bring comfort food/snacks.
Does your tour accommodate food allergies?
Yes. When filling out the registration form on our website, there is a specific box for you to submit this information.
Do the hotels have WiFi?
How long are the drives between the major cities?
Almost all of our drives between major cities are between one to two hours.
Will you be playing movies on the bus rides?
Yes, we occasionally play movies on the longer rides.
Do you keep our credit card information on file?
For security purposes, we do not keep credit card information on file.
Should I bring cash with me? If so, what currency is used in Poland?
Everything has been included in the price of your tour. If you would like to have some cash on you, the Polish currency is the Zloty. Please note that most stores accept credit cards.
What kind of electric outlets are used in Poland?
The electric outlets in Poland are two-prong European plugs. The voltage is 220-240.
I have a Polish address I'd like to visit. Can this be arranged?
If the address is along the route we travel, and if time permits, we are happy to accommodate such requests. It is best to submit addresses in advance.
How can I prepare for the tour?
Preparation does enhance your tour. Researching your family roots is recommended. Reading about the Holocaust and Jewish life in Poland before the war is also recommended.
Is there a recommended reading list?
Here are a few recommended books:
Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1999.
Hope is the Last to Die: A Coming of Age Under Nazi Terror. Routledge, 1996.
A Blaze in the Darkening Gloom: The Life of Rav Meir Shapiro. Feldheim Pub, 1994.
Browning, Christopher R.
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Harper Perennial, 1998.
The Ghetto Fights. Bookmarks, 2014.
Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007.
Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Neighbours: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. ARROW, 2003.
Chasidic Masters: History, Biography, Thought. Moznaim Pub Corp, 1991.
Lau, Rabbi Israel Meir.
Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last. Sterling, 2011.
Treblinka: A Survivor's Memory, 1942-1943. Quercus, 2012.
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Basic Books, 2012.
Night. Hill and Wang, 2006.
For more suggested readings, please email
Is the tour depressing?
At The World That Was, we pride ourselves on finding an appropriate balance between both mourning and celebrating Jewish life. We display the utmost respect and gravity when visiting sites of devastation. However, when not at these sites, as an integral segment of our journey, we also vibrantly celebrate both Judaism and life.
During our week we will weep and cry, and we will smile and laugh. We will fervently head to Poland to both lament our unfathomable loss and to emphatically proclaim "Am Yisrael Chai".
How long does my passport need to be valid for? Do I need a Visa to enter Poland?
It is the responsibility of each participant to make sure their passport is valid and that they have the appropriate travel documents. At the time of answering this question, to travel to Poland, one must have a valid passport, issued in the last ten years, that expires no less than three months after your intended date of departure from Poland. Since this law can potentially change at any time, we highly recommend ensuring at least 6 months remaining on your passport from your intended date of departure from Poland (as this is currently the mandate of many other countries).
If you have an Australian, Canadian, Israeli, UK or USA passport, you do not require a special visa to enter Poland. If you are travelling with a passport issued from another country, please check if Poland requires a visa.
How should I pack?
When flights are arranged by The World That Was, you may bring one piece of luggage and one carry-on with you.
In Poland, your luggage will be stored under the bus when we travel from city to city. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you bring a smaller bag/backpack that may be brought onto the bus, with items you would like to keep with you throughout the day.