History, Memory & Representation of the Holocaust
The Diary of Anne Frank, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Schindler’s List—these well-known books and films about the Holocaust are part of nearly every teenager’s education. But as powerfully affective as they are, such popular treatments of the Holocaust represent (and often even misrepresent) just a narrow piece of its complex history. This year-long rigorous program goes deeper into the subject of the Holocaust by engaging intensively with the history and memory of the Nazi genocide of the European Jews and other groups between 1933 and 1945. In addition, it examines representations of this experience in literature and film and at memorial sites and museums.
Students gain a more thorough understanding of better-known histories and narratives of the Holocaust and explore aspects of the Holocaust that are underrepresented in contemporary American culture or that have otherwise been marginalized. They additionally learn about some of the important scholarly methodologies for approaching the study of the Holocaust and its legacy. The highlight of the program is an educational trip in late May and early June to locations in Germany, Poland, and Lithuania. Students visit sites important to the history and memory of the Holocaust, such as the Warsaw and Vilna ghettos, the Auschwitz and Treblinka death camps, the mass graves at Ponary, and museums, memorials and historical sites in Berlin and environs.