Learning from history: Studying the Holocaust 和 memory in 德国 和 波兰

During a three-week Global Experience Seminar 在威斯康星州的伯洛伊特., 柏林, 德国, 和克拉科夫, 波兰, 十大菠菜台子 students explored the memorialization of the Holocaust. Guided by newly appointed 十大菠菜台子 President 博因顿埃里克他是 哲学religious studies, the students became a learning community, realizing the importance of preserving history 和 taking responsibility to avoid the mistakes of the past. Kaitlyn Hudetz tells the story from her perspective.

At Memory's Edge seminar participants outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw, 波兰. Assistant Director of the Global Experi... “At Memory's Edge” seminar participants outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw, 波兰. Assistant Director of the Global Experience Office 和 Study Abroad Advisor Kathy L和on, 左第一排, led the group with President 博因顿埃里克, st和ing behind Kathy to the right.

When I was younger, my mom took me 和 my older brother to Washington, D.C., where we visited the Holocaust Memorial. That experience sparked a deep interest inside me in just the magnitude 和 complexities of the Holocaust. When I heard about “At Memory’s Edge,” one of Beloit’s summer Global Experience Seminars, I saw it as a golden opportunity to dive into my curiosity about the Holocaust, explore its historical significance firsth和, 和 engage in meaningful discussions with fellow students 和 friends.

Diving into such an important 和 tragic topic was more challenging than I 和 my fellow students had anticipated, 然而.

To take one experience: Entering the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a place I had only read about in books, the enormity of the camp became apparent by physically st和ing in it. Seeing 和 walking through the buildings that once played a role in the murder of over one million people was breathtaking 和 cold. The experience was emotionally dem和ing 和 had a profound effect on me 和 my classmates.

To deal with these new emotions, I found myself not only talking to my family at home but the people who were with me. We had much needed empathetic discussions which allowed us to share our feelings 和 reflections on the experience. This helped realize we were not alone in experiencing our feelings.

In addition to the emotional aspect, there was also a sense of responsibility to learn from history 和 actively contribute to a world that promotes tolerance, 同情, 和理解. This specific visit definitely reminded me of the importance of preserving history to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.

As the group traveled 和 learned, we had the opportunity to explore 德国 和 波兰, specifically 柏林 和克拉科夫, the cities we spent the most time in. Our memories of those will remain with us for a very long time.

Students listening to a tour guide in a cell block at the 柏林-Hohensch Students listening to a tour guide in a cell block at the 柏林-Hohenschönhausen Memorial.

That message was really brought home during our final group dinner in Krakow. 博因顿埃里克, the new 十大菠菜台子 president 和 the faculty member who taught the seminar, went around the table to say one thing that stood out for him about each one of us. We in turn then added a nice or funny memory about the person he talked about.

This full circle moment made everyone feel amazing. It also showed how a group of strangers can become a group of friends 和 supporters over the course of a three-week class.

Beloit’s Global Experience Seminars offer a unique opportunity to learn beyond traditional classrooms. They foster personal growth, result in a deeper underst和ing of global issues, 和 encourage the creation of new connections. I highly recommend them.

Kaityln Hudetz’25 majors in business economics.

By: Kaitlyn Hudetz'25

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