Auschwitz Challenge

stage 9 - BRESLAu / WROCLAW  

Literature as homeland

Dear Pilgrim:

Today we cross the border to enter Poland. If you are from the European Community, you do not need to show your passport, as we are within the EU. To know where we are located, look at this map:









Poland is a gorgeous land which has been consecrated by the blood of so many victims who died in the Second World War. It is the homeland of men and women who really left a legacy such as Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska, Maximilian Kolbe, Joseph Kowalski, and the charismatic Pope John Paul II; Homeland of the Virgin Mary because Catholicim has became strong here trying to bring the light of the Gospel.   Today we arrive in Wroclaw and we have chosen, as our outstanding personage, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was born in this city.

 Therefore, dear Pilgrims, we have enormous reasons to breathe deeply and feel that in this land the Holy Spirit can make us be a letter of peace and joy for the world. You might be wondering:  “a letter?”  Definitely, as today we are going to another country, to another homeland, as Etty Hillesum quoted: Literature.  I am sure you have one or several books that were really key ones for some time in your life.  Books that were there to guide you, strengthen you, console you, fall in love…Likewise, Etty who was an ardent reader, felt that literature was his homeland. His soul was not made to feel his motherland in some geographic area, but she felt it connected to other people who use books to search within their heart.

Dear pilgrim, you have a wonderful task today!  To know Wroclax (Polish) or Breslau (German) which was chosen as the European Cultural City 2016 shared with San Sebastian. Let’s let Etty Hillesum introduce us to literature, let’s meet Dietrich Bonhoeffer…so, without any delay  ¡EUNTES!

P.S. Football fans know that Wroclaw hosted the 2012 European Football Championship where the Spanish National team managed to win three tournaments in a row. No national team has been able to beat that. 

P.S.  As you are my favourite client and I am your favourite taxi driver, I have brought you a postcard of one of Wroclax most famous sculputures concerning the disappearance which took place in 1981. I don’t give you any more information because you might want to search on your own.




It is an amazing city. If you are tired of walking, you can always rest in a food stand to taste the well-known pieces of grated cheese.



Two youngsters from the diocese and belonging to the Youth Ministry will help us better understand the war conflict that frames Etty’s writings as well as those from her contemporaries.



It was Etty herself who thought about “literature” as homeland. In the following video we will find out the meaning of that metaphor. A key factor for his spiritual progress was the fact that she read important authors such as Rilke, the Bible, Saint Augustine, Dostoievski, Tolstoy. Literature is home, is a call for attention, is a heartwarming experience, and also homeland.



Today we are going to meet several men and women who lived deeply and discover God as the foundation of their lives. They share with us their prayers, fruit of their life experience.


For the standard prayer, you are invited to choose one of them, and if you fancy more, go ahead with the other texts.

For the extreme prayer, we invite you to take at least 20 minutes, either with just one text or more. We remind you that the most important thing is not to go through all of them, but stop and remain where you think God is talking to you.



Fernando introduces us to the protestant priest who did not stay apart in front of the Nazi barbarism. He made use of his voice, his writings, his intelligence, his prayers to fight evil. The courage to take a stand against shadows based on the Gospel brings consequences: you just have to look at the cross.

06. Your concentration camp

Bearing in mind your own concentration camp, pray this small ”, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prayer:

In me it is dark, but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not desert me;
My courage fails me, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace;
in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 07. HELP US!

All  this “challenge” experience has been carried out thanks to the support of Etty Hillesum’s foundation. Therefore, a monetary donation for some of his projects is suggested  to thank them for their effort and their practical way to introduce us to this wonderful woman, and some of the people who lived with her. Within the foundation projects we can find:

  • Socio-educational support to families and children in the El codito square (Bogotá- Colombia)

  • Attention to families of people who have been deprived of their freedom (Prison Pastoral Care of the Calahorra and La Calzada- Logroño diocese)

  • Help to sick people going through non-desired loneliness in Hospital of Valvanera, in Logroño. Spain.

If you want to give a hand both to the Etty Hillesum Foundation and to the Digital Evangelization Proyect “Challenge-La Rioja” , we explain the different ways to give us a donation.

Bank transfer from Spain

Beneficiary: Diócesis de Calahorra y La Calzada-Logroño

Account number : ES65 2085 5651 3803 3107 2484

Subjet : Peregrinación Virtual Etty + pilgrim’s name y last name (it is not the name of the person who makes the bank transfer but the pilgrim’s name,  if they are different)

If you want the donation to be taken into account in your taxes, add in the subject:   Name and last name of the person who makes the donation + id number+ province

Bizum option

It is possible to make a money transfer through the BIZUM platform which helps to donate money using your mobile phone.  You have to click on the ONG logo, and search either : “Diócesis de Calahorra y la Calzada-Logroño” or introduce the code: 00765 

Do not forget to write the subject : Peregrinacion Virtual Etty + Pilgrim’s name and last name


Beneficiary: Diócesis de Calahorra y La Calzada-Logroño

Account Number: ES65 2085 5651 3803 3107 2484

Address: AV.G.V.REY JUAN CARLOS I, 9, 26002, Logroño, La Rioja, España

Telephone: 941270059

Subject: Peregrinación Virtual Etty + pilgrim’s name and last name (Name of the person who is doing the pilgrimage)

BANk: Ibercaja



Thanks beforehand.

 08. Great enigma of Auschwitz Challenge

We offer you some clues in every challenge in order to find out who is our mysterious character at the end of the challenge. 

Today’s clue is:  Our main character was born 270km away from the city where we are sleeping today, to the southeast. What is more, he was born in the second most populated city in Poland.


Your personal chofer wants to know your progress of today’s stage. Here you have a brief questionaire to get your ticket to next place.



RECIPE OF THE DAY: Polish Bow Tie Fritters

For the dough:

  • 100ml warm milk

  • 50g fresh yeast (from the bakery, the one you can find in the fridge)

  • 370g fresh flour (normal, without yeast)

  • 50g sugar (you can use edulcorant)

  • 3/4 de kosher salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 170g butter

  • 300g marmelade - we recommend strawberry or redberry.

  1. All the products for the yeast should be at room temperature

  2. The dough is prepared: we mix the milk, yeast, a sugar spoon, and a spoon of flour.

  3. We leave it rest for 10 minutes covered with a cloth. When we see some foam over the dough, it is ready.

  4. We put the flour, the sugar and the salt in a big bowl. Later, we add the yeast and mix it with a spoon

  5. Later, we mix it with our hands for 10 minutes, like if were making bread. The dough must be completely flat.

  6. We add butter to the dough- it must be really soft, cut in cubes.

  7. We keep working the dough for the next 10 minutes till the dough is very elastic.

  8. We let the dough rest until it increases the size for one hour covered with a cloth.

  9. When the dough is really big, we hit it with our hands and quickly we made a ball.

  10. We put the dough on the table scattered with flour. We made the dough flat to 1cm wide.  If it is necessary, we add more flour.

  11. We cut the dough with a glass (a diameter of 7,5 cm high) and the fritters are made

  12. The dough is made thinner and a spoon of marmelade is added in the middle.  A round ball is made with our hands and we put all in a muffin mold

  13. We put the fritters on an oven tray, separated from one another. We let them get bigger for 30 minutes approximately.

  14. The oven is preheated, without ventilation, at 180C. A bitten egg is added on each fritter. They must stay in the oven for 13-15 minutes.

  15. We let them rest for 10 minutes and then, they are painted with a sugar layer

  16. Sugar layer: sugar icing, lemon juice-  these ingredients are beaten till we get a mixture which is  not very liquid, not very hard.

Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed - Patrick Woodhouse