Programs by Country: Poland + Dialogue of Civilizations


Poland: From Occupation to Resistance

Dialogue of Civilizations | Warsaw, Poland

Faculty Leader: Prof. Jeffrey Burds (j.burds@neu.edu)

Study Abroad Coordinator: Liz McClanahan (e.mcclanahan@neu.edu)

Term: Summer II

Courses: 

  • HIST4946 Central Europe Abroad (Field Research)
  • INTL4944 Dialogues of Civilization/Regional,  NU Core arts level 1

Description: 

Warsaw has rapidly become a second Prague in Europe—safe, negotiable in English, a beautiful and haunting 1200-year old city that represents the very best of several European cultures.

This Summer II Dialogue will examine the history of the Second World War in Poland--from the German invasion in September 1939, the Polish national resistance, the Holocaust,  the Warsaw Uprising, the Soviet occupation of Poland from autumn 1944, and the Solidarity Movement that brought Polish independence in the 1980s.  Based at Warsaw University, the program includes regularly scheduled classes with lectures by the Dialogue leaders and local scholars, plus visits to relevant historical and cultural sites around Poland.  Excursions are planned to the concentration camps at Auschwitz; Krakow (the site of the main school for training Nazi collaborationist police and prison guards); Zakopane—a mountain resort town where the Nazis had schools for SS and Abwher (military intelligence) assets; and Gdansk, the site of the Solidarity Movement that brought liberation of Poland from Soviet power in the 1980s.  The program will include a visit to Zelazowa Wola, the birth place and museum of Chopin, and attendance of a performance of his music. More than any other, Chopin is the Polish composer who created the soundtrack of the Polish national resistance struggle.

The Program leader is Professor Jeffrey Burds, an award-winning teacher and scholar whose work on the history of the Soviet secret police throughout Eastern Europe has earned him an international reputation. Program co-leader is Izabella Burds, a native of Warsaw, with an advanced business degree and more than 20 years of experience in Polish corporate life during the transition from Soviet satellite to one of the most successful of all post-Soviet economies. The program Resident Assistant is a member of the cultural section in the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Miss Paulina Sieradzan.