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The 6 influencers of life: How Joe Cross will make you happier

Want to feel happier? Want to have more energy? Want to feel and look better? Then keep reading, and if you like the sound of it, watch the movies.

Our health is incredibly complex, but it is made up of 6 main factors:

Whether you smoke
What you consume (food and drink)
How much you exercise
How much sleep you get
How much stress you have
and last, and definitely not least:
Your network and sense of belonging

Joe Cross has just released his second movie (Fat, Sick and
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A Mysterious Underground City and a Jewish Polish Wedding

I got back late last night from a Jewish wedding in Wrocław in Poland. This was the first (or maybe second?) wedding between two Polish Jews at the White Stork Synagogue there for 50 years. Unfortunately, after the Holocaust and during the communist period, there wasn’t much room for Jewish life in this town. Today, Jewish life in Poland is not what it was before the war, but there is a strong community that is continuing to grow. This wedding
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Ride for the Living 2014

In October 2013, I spent 25 days alone with my bike, cycling a WWII liberation path from London, across Europe, to Auschwitz. (See articles here)

It was a deeply meaningful trip, I did not want to dwell solely on the painful memories of this time in history, instead I wanted to look at the positive side of liberating Europe, the good that came with stopping the Nazi regime and celebrating the freedom we have today. Inevitably there were parts of the
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March of the Living 2014 (The March) – UK Group – Day 6

Finally we took part in the March today in order to commemorate and remember the losses of the Holocaust; and just as importantly to show the world that we are still here. Just a short 3km walk from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau with 12,000 other people, mostly Jews, was an incredible sight.

Walking through the gates of Auschwitz 1

Many of the survivors completed the walk too which was amazing. Their determination, despite their age, to complete this act is a sure
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March of the Living 2014 – UK Group – Day 5

Today we visited Auschwitz. This was my fourth visit to this camp but for many in my group it was their first. The expectations were set for this place to be the most intense on our trip and for many it was, including myself.

A lot of visitors exclaim how unbelievable it is, you can’t truly think that anyone would take part in such hideous crimes. A holocaust survivor on our tour mentioned that “this was the gas chamber I entered
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March of the Living 2014 – UK Group – Day 4

Today was the most powerful of the trip so far. We spent a good part of the early afternoon touring the Kazimierz part of Kraków, the old Jewish Quarter.

After visiting the old, we went on to see the current Jewish Community Centre in this modern and trendy city. Firstly we heard from one of the survivors, Marla, who now lives in England. Her story is a horrifying first hand account of life in the harsh ghettos of Poland; she described
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March of the Living 2014 – UK Group – Day 3

Another incredibly intense day seeing so much history in such a short space of time.

Bełżec was the first death camp set up during the Nazi regime, close to the border with Ukraine. It was constructed in the middle of a huge forest, surrounded by tightly packed Nazi planted trees and with an extra layer of leaves on top to hide it from aerial view.

Unfortunately again this place has a sense that the Nazis won here. They closed down the camp,
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March of the Living 2014 – UK Group – Day 2

Today was a very long and difficult day. We visited the Majdanek death camp which was the most moving place I have been to.

To many of the group, it was their first visit to any sort of physical camp of this nature. Initial reactions from the main memorial overlooking the whole camp was that it was a lot smaller than they thought it would be. Several hours of walking later, they realised how big it actually was.

The camp sits in
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March of the Living 2014 – UK Group – Day 1

March of the Living is an annual commemorative walk from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau in Oświęcim, Poland. It’s main purpose (in my view) is to show the world that we (“the Jews”) are still here. The much longer death marches took place in 1945 when the Nazis knew the Russians were close; the purpose then was to remove the Jews from the death camps. Many died on these marches and we march to show that we are still here.

The march
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Gliwice and WWII – Something you didn’t know

Very few people actually know the details of how WWII started. Most generally know that Germany walked soldiers into Poland on September 1st 1939 and the rest of the world reacted by waging war. This is partly true, but it leaves out an incredibly interesting story that I only found by visiting the site itself.

Gliwice Radio Tower

Silesia (now owned by Poland) was an area to the east in Germany that bordered Poland. On the 31st
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