PolandSummer Study Tour

Required Course(s)
European Genocides

The study tour to Warsaw and Krakow allows you to delve into the country’s past, look at the three main populations that lived in Poland before the Nazis invaded, and visit memorials and monuments dedicated to people who lost their lives while Poland was occupied.

Warsaw, Poland’s capital, is  where Europe’s greatest Jewish Ghetto once stood. Here, we find a number of historical sites,  including significant monuments and memorials. From Warsaw, we will travel to Chelmno, where the Nazis erected the world’s first extermination camp, Kulmhof. Near Chelmno lies another village, Dabie, where we can see traces of the three large population groups that once lived here in western Poland: Poles, Germans, and Jews.

Traveling on to Krakow, we find one of the most beautiful cities in central Europe. Here we will see the newly revived Jewish neighborhood, Kazimirz, and other important historic sites. From Krakow we’ll venture to the former KZ Auschwitz, where we’ll spend time in ‘stammlager’ (Auschwitz I) and  in the former extermination site at Birkenau (Auschwitz II).

Throughout the study tour,  Poland will be our classroom, to understand historical implications of the Holocaust and provide primary context for the readings and cinematic material you are exposed to in the classroom.

Tour Objectives

  • Explore some of the challenges and dilemmas facing the custodians of the Nazi killing centers today
  • Gain first-hand experiences by visiting some of the sites of Nazi oppression: ghettos, concentration and extermination camps
  • Provide primary context for the readings and cinematic material introduced in the classroom

Possible Activities

  • Touring Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps outside of Krakow
  • Touring Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter in Krakow
  • Visiting a former extermination camp, Chelmno nad Nerem
  • Walking to Old Town Square (Stary Rynek) and the Warsaw Ghetto