Study Trip

Krakow & Auschwitz


After intensive in-class study of the Shoah, you will use this trip to look deeply into the concept of social memory, particularly in terms of how historical events are represented in monuments and memorials, and reflect upon the practical implementation of memory, the role of history tourism, and the meaning of historical sites for visitors. Why are sites of destruction popular tourist destinations? How is history told and to what end? What effect do these representations (and preservations) have on the personal meaning of history?

From the perspective of Transitional Justice, the trip to Auschwitz and Krakow addresses issues of social construction following mass atrocity. You will examine how monuments to the Holocaust, such as Auschwitz and the Schindler museum, as well as the revival experienced in the past two decades of the traditionally Jewish quarter of Krakow (now populated almost exclusively by non-Jews) are evidence of “truth telling” or “justice”, so that these processes of memorialization create possible sites of restorative justice and collective witnessing.