After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, I will once again be guiding students through a holocaust-studies experience this May and June. The build-up of interest since the last trip has necessitated two tours this time around. The first will go from May 12 – 22 and the second will be from May 23 – June 2. (I will attach the travel packets, detailing the events of each day for reach tour, as soon as they are done.)
In many ways, the experience will reflect the typical flow of previous tours. The first half will center in Berlin and other places in northeastern Germany like Brandenburg and Furstenberg, and the second half will be based in Kraków, Poland where we will look specifically at the plight of the Kraków Jews, and then also travel to Oswiecim to tour the most notorious of all death camps, Auschwitz.
A few new features will be a part of this year’s experience. One exciting addition is the inclusion of an meeting with U.S. Embassy personnel. Each tour will have an extended time of interaction with U.S. State Department officials stationed in Berlin. If all goes well, this will become a regular component of future tours. A huge “thank you!” to Dan and Martha Hutchens, retired U.S. State Department employees and long-time friends of Asbury, for putting this new component together.
Secondly, Rich Manieri, Professor of Journalism in Asbury’s School of Media Communications, will be leading a crew of 5 students as they track the tour’s activities and develop several video-journalism pieces for summer course credit. I am super excited to have Prof. Manieri and his students along to chronicle and document the student experience. I’m sure several of their productions will eventually make it onto this website.
Finally, I am grateful to be able to stay over for a couple extra days and do some further exploration of sites in Poland with some family friends, Dr. Paul and Mary Blair. In particular, we will travel to Lublin, Poland to see the museum and what is left of the Majdanek Concentration and Extermination camp, and then on to Treblinka, just northwest of Warsaw to see the memorial where the Nazi’s exterminated the residents of the Warsaw ghetto.
Stay tuned for periodic updates during the travels and then reflections of both tours afterward.
For those of you who feel prompted to pray for these tours, may I ask you to keep the following aspects of the trip in mind:
- the traveling to and from Europe (for many students it will be their first time oversees and in a foreign country),
- the relative proximity to the hostilities in the Ukraine,
- the ability to maintain a fairly rigorous schedule so as to maximize the students’ experience, and
- the emotional and spiritual challenge for all of us as we visit sites associated with the worst atrocities in human history.
Thank you for your interest in this study-abroad experience. If you would like to learn more about what we do and why we do it, please reach out to me via the “Contact” feature on the main page or at the bottom of the “About” page on this website. I’ll be happy to respond to questions and interact with you about the experience.