Auschwitz Challenge

STAGE 10 - katowice  

To be a balm and a shared bread

Dear pilgrim,

How was Breslav or Wroclaw yesterday? Poland is an unknown treasure, right? Well, get ready because Katowice is one of its best hidden treasures that quickly makes the visitor fall in love with her. So, after you leave your suitcase at the hotel and take a shower, I'll wait for you to show you some of the most beautiful places of the city.

It is true that this great city of about 300,000 inhabitants still cries for the Bloody Monday that it lived on September 4th, 1939, when dozens of people died defending the city from the German invasion. Among them, fourteen underaged Boy Scouts. These young boys gave an example of defending the great values of Scouting, up to the point to be able to give their own lives. Etty, in the last pages of her diary, describes how she had also tried to make from her life an offering. To explain this idea, she uses two interesting images: to be like a bread, which is broken to be shared for the people who are hungry (an image of the Eucharist); and to be like a balm for the wounds of this World.

By the way, today I will introduce you a Jewish German Woman, who has influenced a lot the thought of 20th century, and to whom the way to become a balm was through the publication of Works about political thought. Hannah Arendt tried to underline in her essays all the necessary things in order that the political systems could truly serve the people. And it was clear to her that Totalitarian Systems were not the right path: “Just as Hitler's ‘final solution' really meant that the elite of the Nazi party was obliged to fulfill the commandment «You should kill», in a similar way, a statement from Stalin explained the «you will perjury» "as a rule of behavior for all the members of the Bolshevik party ”.

And which is your way to become a balm or a broken bread? It would be good if today we would think about it; it would be good if today we listen inside ourselves, and let everything that our eyes see and our ears listen to make eco inside of us. And that is because tomorrow, you know, we come to the end of our pilgrimage, and so, we should start answering this question, so that this experience would not remain only as an intellectual knowledge or only as moment in which we have prayed, but it could lead us to make a compromise with the reality that we have to live. I, at least, in my job as a taxi driver, try also to be a balm for my customers, in such a way that everyone who enjoys my car and my driving could be a little happier.

So, my pilgrim friend, cheer up and EUNTES!




By the way, in this city Maria Goeppert-Mayer was born in 1906, second woman awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics, after Marie Curie, because she proposed the Model of the Nuclear Layers.



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.



Ana Martín Echagüe has a degree in Spiritual Theology from the Comillas Pontifical University; she belongs to the Missionary Community of Servants of the Gospel and now introduces us to a key aspect of Etty: she gave herself to the others, becoming a balm for the wounds of the World and a broken bread for the hungry Humanity.



Today we invite you to pray with images. Many of them present a World in need of balm and bread. Others present the desire of solving such difficulties. How many times do we see in our lives situations that awake in us emotions ...We have to learn to feel and to pray with them, since only what moves us push us to be compromised with it.



Carolina Montoya, Doctor in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Chile and Professor at the Javeriana University of Bogotá, introduces us to a Woman which she has been studying for a long time, and who has become for her a great friend: Hannah Arendt. Let's hear how this German Jew Woman tried hard to build a political thought that would avoid the horror of new World Wars.

06. Your concentration camp

Dedicate your favorite prayer to "your concentration camp."

 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

In each of the stages we offer you some clues, so that at the end of the itinerary you can solve who is the mysterious character of this Auschwitz Challenge.

Today's clue is: In Beverly Hills he opened a store of things made of Leather.


TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STAGE, YOUR PERSONAL DRIVER wants to know if you have made good use of what we have experienced today. so, you have to answer some questions to be able to purchase your ticket to the next place.




RECIPE OF THE DAY: Polish Pancakes


✓ 2.5 cups of flour

✓ 0.5 l of milk

✓ 2 eggs

✓ 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar

✓ 1 tablespoon of sugar

✓ 1/2 teaspoon of soda

✓ 2-3 apples

✓ 1 pinch of salt



1. All the ingredients are mixed except the egg whites and apples.

2. The apples are grated and added to the mixture together with the mounted egg whites.

3. Put a pan with sunflower oil and cook the pancakes a couple of minutes per side.

4. Serve hot with sugar, Greek Yogurt and homemade Cherry jam.





A PIECE OF NEWS: Catholic sister found her faith after Hiroshima atomic bombing

READING: (The Last page of Etty Hillesum’s Journal, October 13th 1942)