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A Final Trip Around Prague – Collin Wright

Our final day has come in Prague. While it will be such a shame to leave a wonderful city, we will be getting on the bus and departing to Salzburg, Austria in the morning. Though we have only had a short while, we were able to experience much of what the city has to offer us. As part of our final day, we experienced walking around the Jewish Quarter, viewing a couple of Synagogues in the area, as well as a historical cemetery. Afterwards, we had a little bit of free time before our concert in the city. This concert in particular was very unique as it was a benefit for the Prague Childrens Hospital, and had a turnout of over 300 people in attendance. 300 is an insane number, especially for a small college from America coming to the Czech Republic. Overall, Prague has been an amazing experience, and I personally can´t wait to come back.

When I first found out that we were going into the Jewish Quarter of Prague, I did not know what to expect. I was not sure whether we would see some of the old buildings from WWII, whether or not we would see ruins, no idea at all to be honest. What we did see, however, was a memoriam to those of the Jewish community who lost their lives during the rule of Nazi Germany. Our tour guide, Barbara, told us that before the war, there were around 120,ooo Jews living in the Czech Republic. Afterwards, there were less than 40,000 of them. To think that 2/3 of your people are gone, there is no doubt that no one would want to leave the area. Today, there are very few Jews living in Prague, or the Czech Republic in general.

Next came the cemetery. According to Barbara, there were approximately 12,000 gravestones there, but many were reported destroyed by Nazi soldiers. The best estimates say that there are approximately 40,000 bodies within the cemetery. That is absolutely ridiculous. By those numbers, at least 25,000 people do not have something to memorialize them, and it seems like they have been forgotten from history. Seeing these things makes you wonder about what would happen if it had been you in their position.

After the Jewish Quarter this morning, we had a little bit of free time to pick up souveniers, eat, sleep, whatever we wanted to do. After a little bit of time to ourselves, we departed for our concert. Like I said before, it was a benefit for the hospital in Prague, and more specifically had to deal with pediatric cancer. Due to the benefit nature, we amassed an audience of over 300 people. It was excellent. Everyone put on a spectacular performance. In fact, when Karrington sang her solo in City called Heaven, I saw a woman in the front row crying, and I know that they were not tears of sadness, only tears of joy.

Overall, everyone had a remarkable time over here in Prague. From the shows to the history, the music, dancing, and just overall fun had in the country, I can say we have had the time of our lives here. And we still have another half of the trip to go. I am sure everyone will be excited for what the rest of Europe has to offer us.