By Rebecca King Pierce
Last week, on Feb. 2, a new exhibit opened at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center called Thirteen Washington University Students and their Deep Dive into the Study of the Holocaust. The exhibit features posters and a video, which you can view below, that offer reflections and images from WashU students, faculty, and staff who traveled across Germany, Poland, and Lithuania in May 2016.
“The trip took place after a year of intensive study in 2015-2016 as part of the FOCUS program ‘The History, Memory, and Representation of the Holocaust,’” says Brian Vetruba, the Germanic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, and European Studies Librarian. “The exhibit encompasses critical perspectives on the history, memory, and representation of the Holocaust alongside students’ first-person reflections.” The exhibit was curated by Vetruba and FOCUS students Cecily Hibbs, Talia Wazana, and Abigail Wippel.
This is the first year that this particular FOCUS program was offered. It was designed and co-taught by Erin McGlothlin, an associate professor of German and Jewish studies, and Anika Walke, an assistant professor of history, who planned for the program to be a year-long, intensive examination of the history and representation of the Holocaust that ultimately culminated in traveling to see sites connected to the legacy of the Holocaust. McGlothlin says, “Although we both teach courses on the Holocaust at all levels, this was our first time to teach Holocaust-related courses specifically to first-year students, and it's the first time that we've taken students on a tour of Holocaust-related sites in Europe. We're planning to offer the entire program again in 2017-2018 to incoming students.”
The FOCUS program, study trip, and exhibit were made possible by the following organizations: the Rubin* and Gloria Feldman Family Education Institute (*of blessed memory), the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the College of Arts & Sciences, and Washington University Libraries. The video below, which is featured in the exhibit, was produced by Sean Garcia in Arts & Sciences Communications with the assistance of Vetruba, and all of the posters from the exhibit can be found in a PDF format here. The exhibit will be open until March 15.