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Studying The Holocaust On A Fellowship

Poland is not the first place you might think of when someone says that they are traveling to Europe for

the summer. It's not exotic like Greece or Italy and it's not flashy like France or Spain. What then would take someoneto Poland? What takes me to this country for the summer is the opportunity to study abroad.

I have been selected to be a 2018 Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow and will be travelling to Poland with a small group of students to study the Holocaust. I am in the second year of the M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at Gratz College. I applied to this fellowship program to enrich my understanding of this complex period in history, Polish-Jewish relations, and the legacy of the Holocaust in Poland. The program lasts for three weeks. My cohorts will meet in New York City for a brief orientation before making the trans-Atlantic flight to continue in Poland. Some of the highlights of our trip are supposed to include Krakow, Warsaw, Lodz, Treblinka, and Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

As a student of this time period and a teacher of history, I believe it is imperative to study the Holocaust for many reasons, only one of which is to understand the implications for today. Although much of the academic content of my study abroad experience will be difficult, Poland has a long history with such a rich culture. I expect to learn so much, to connect with new people, and to fall in love with a new country. I suspect I will find Poland to be a diamond in the rough of European travel. 

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