Author: Paul Nesselroade

A Stream-of-Consciousness about the Holocaust Studies Tour

Recently, I was given an opportunity at an Asbury University chapel to briefly talk about the tour I lead each May. Given the super-tight time restriction, I thought it might be helpful to create a “stream-of-consciousness” description. I’ve copied it below. Pretzels, pastries, German chocolate, perogies, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the Wawel Castle, Wittenberg and all things Luther, perogies, train rides through the countryside, walking through splendid little German towns, but what is that behind those dark walls…it looks foreboding.  ____ Churches, stunningly beautiful churches, St. Mary’s Basilica – have I ever been inside anything more magnificent? Did

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Interviewed for “This is Asbury” podcast

I haven’t been posting much recently due to a heavy teaching schedule. However, here is a recent interview by the “This is Asbury” podcast. We touch on the Asbury Honors Program and its’ theme, but most of the time is spent talking about the Holocaust Studies Tour. It’s about 19 minutes long. n If you are interested in the tour I’m leading this May (6th – 20th), please let me know. I have limited spots available due to a film crew that will be accompanying the group again this year. Here is a page with more information: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/global-initiatives-programs/travel-courses/germany-poland/ Here is

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Karen Swallow Prior speaks at Asbury

The Asbury University Honors Program invited speaker for Spring ’23 was author and educator, Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Click here to watch her talk entitled, “Christians, Imagination, and Social Imaginaries.” (Note: the videographer missed the first few seconds.) Our next invited speaker (September 19, 2023) will be theologian, author, and speaker Kaitlyn Schiess who will be talking about ideas from her new book, The Ballot and the Bible. Stay tuned for more info about AUHP speakers coming during the 2023/24 academic year.

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 13

So Long, Kraków Today was our last day in Kraków, and indeed our last day of the tour. It was basically “Free Kraków” – however, we did have a final meal together and we did meet as a group to discuss Pierre Sauvage’s compelling documentary, Weapons of the Spirit, which chronicles the actions of the people of Le Chambon, a small community tucked away in the hills of south central France who managed to harbor about 5000 Jews during the war. In discussion, the students drew out several great observations – and a story like this was something we all

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 12

Auschwitz I and II Today we went to a place where language does not follow. A mere description of our day is all we have to offer. We walked through an 8-hour educational tour of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) with the help of my friend and exceptional guide, David Kennedy. Afterward, we met at the hotel to discuss our experience. In our time of sharing, many themes emerged. Here are some of the most persistent ones: the ethics of using knowledge gained by inhumane experiments and the post-war allied use of experts tainted by affiliation with the National

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 11

A Little Bit of Everything Our first full day in Kraków provided us the opportunity to cover a lot of bases. We peeked into St. Mary’s (and actually 3 other churches as well), walked up to Wawel Castle, passed through the Kazimierz District and on to the Ghetto Memorial and the Ghetto Wall Memorial, and finishing mid-day at the Schindler Factory Museum. Several of us topped the day off by attending an evening classical music concert in St. Peter and Paul’s Church where we heard about 15 pieces from composers like Schubert, Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi. Pretty strong day when

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 10

Travel to Kraków, Poland Short and sweet review for today. Thursday was almost entirely spent in the coach traveling from Berlin to Kraków. We were able, however, to meet-up with Asbury alum and missionary (and fellow Zoo boy), Mike Green, who has spent over 30 years in this city. Mike was kind enough to take the lead on a brief walking tour of Old Town – we only had time to swing through the square and then catch a dusky glimpse of the castle. Tomorrow we will do some more proper exploring. Here are a few pics from the day:

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 9

Distance The word “distance” seems, in many ways, to be a fitting description of our experience today. For starters, our destination, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, was a great distance away from Berlin, and the camp itself was a good 45 minute walk from the closest train station. Furthermore, there was a dramatic lack of distance between the horrors experienced in the camp and the nearby city of Fürstenberg which sits nestled comfortably on the opposite shoreline of swelling in the Havel River. Conversely, the residents of this beautiful little German town have worked hard to create a great distance between themselves

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 8

A U.S. Embassy visit and a bit more of “Free Berlin” On Tuesday, we had the privilege of meeting with two U.S. Embassy officials, Robert Greenan and Cherrie Daniels. Diplomats have such a unique vantage point from which to provide us with insight as we try to understand the present situation in Germany in light of the terrible recent past that we are studying. Our discussion primarily focused on the experiment that Germany has undergone as the only country in history to so openly and fully claim ownership of it’s troublesome past. Is it working, or are the upcoming generations

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Germany/Poland ’23, Day 7

Free Berlin Day! Today we had the entire day to explore Berlin and follow our own interests. For the students, this included the zoo and aquarium, shopping, chasing down an abandoned radio station, and consuming lots and lots of food. See pictures below. I took the opportunity to go to several new locations, namely Marx-Engels Forum, the DDR Museum, the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, the Espionage Museum, the ruins of a bombed out Benedictine Monastery, the Evangelische Parochialkirche, and St. Nicholas Church. See the second gallery of photos. A quote found at the Wall Museum, “Escape is the mother

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