Each spring I take Asbury University students to Berlin and Krakow to study aspects of the Holocaust. We learn about the euthanasia efforts in Nazi-Germany as well as the concentration and extermination camp system. Among other events, students are led through guided tours of Sachsenhausen, Ravensbruck, and Auschwitz. Accounts of the victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and rescuers, are each confronted and considered by the students as they attempt to wade into the perplexing waters of the what, how, and whys of these horrible events. Furthermore, the holocaust narrative is used as a portal into a raw and unvarnished examination of the darkness that besets the human condition. To learn more about these trips (non-AU students are welcome to apply), visit the Asbury University website.
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
This tour was, once again, a rather small group consisting of 13 students and myself. For the first time, I took a “meet-me-in-Berlin” approach, letting students find their own way to Berlin and also from Kraków back to their home.
The 2018 tour was memorable and meaningful in numerous ways. For one thing, it was a return to a much smaller group of students than the previous two years. This facilitated the development of a wonderfully tight bond between students.
The 2017 tour was the first one held in May (instead of March), it had the most Asbury students to date (26), and it was the first one with an extended layover in The Netherlands on the way back to the States.