NU Students visit Auschwitz as part of PoliSci Dialogue on Holocaust


August 09, 2013

21 Students from across disciplines spent five weeks this summer in Germany and Poland to study the history, politics, and memorialization of the Holocaust. Led by Professor Natalie Bormann (Political Science) and PhD Candidate Veronica Czastkiewicz (Political Science), the group made stops in Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin before taking the Berlin-Warsaw Express ‘across’ to Warsaw and Krakow to visit memorial sites, museums, research centers, and to attend lectures, seminars, and workshops related to the study of the Holocaust today.

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Sites included Dachau and Auschwitz, Schindler’s factory, the former Jewish Ghettos in Warsaw and Krakow, and the New Synagogue in Berlin.

Peeking through the Berlin Wall

Peeking through the Berlin Wall

Students participated in workshops to discuss the ‘Final Solution’ at Villa Wannsee, studied the role of ‘helpers’ at the Anne Frank Center, and explored the significance of international justice at (literally ‘in’) the Nuremberg Trial Room.

At the Nuremberg Trial Room

At the Nuremberg Trial Room

Students were able to witness, and participate in, some present-day controversies surrounding questions on how to remember the Holocaust today; such as the role of the so-called ‘stumbling stones’, the impact of the new Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe today.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

In line with the Dialogue’s idea of a full immersion into fully the host countries’ cultures and rites, students had the opportunity to talk with the Chief Rabbi of Poland, attend a Sabbath Dinner of a Jewish Youth Organization in Warsaw, enjoy the sunset from the rooftop of the German Reichstag, visit Neuschwanenstein Castle, and have a daily intake of German ‘Bratwurst’ and Polish ‘Pierogies.’

The Reichstag Building

The Reichstag building

Students earned eight credits (two courses) on this Dialogue; with one course in Political Science that covered the historical and political elements of the Holocaust, and the other course in International Affairs that dealt with the memory landscape in Germany and Poland today and the ways in which the Holocaust is remembered – and to what effect.

Neuschwanenstein Castle

Neuschwanenstein Castle

See the Dialogue Website here; it contains links to student blogs, the travel itinerary and other information.

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