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, 威尼斯正版官方网站 students explored the memorialization of the Holocaust. Guided by newly appointed 威尼斯正版官方网站 President 博因顿埃里克, a professor of 哲学 和 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.
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 underst和ing. 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.
That message was really brought home during our final group dinner in Krakow. 博因顿埃里克, the new 威尼斯正版官方网站 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.