Prayer at Birkenau

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Prayer at Birkenau

By Madeline Herrup, Brandeis Univeristy

Prayer is hard.
Prayer finds itself in fear of dwindling away oftentimes, despite its eternal hold on humanity.
Humans have engaged in prayer for an immeasurable time.
This does not mean connecting to prayer is easy.

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First, do no harm - except to the Jews

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First, do no harm - except to the Jews

By Kalen Michals, Simmons University

The medical experiments that occurred during the Holocaust are no secret to the world today,
but the severity is often overlooked. Under claims that the experiments were “for the greater
good,”- that being, the greater good of the Aryan race/Reich-doctors had full reign to do as they
pleased.

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Humanity and Dignity

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Humanity and Dignity

By Jessie Levine, Simmons University

During the its operation from 1940 to 1945, Auschwitz Concentration Camp imprisoned over 1.3
million individuals, killing about 1.1 million of them.

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Mobile Accessibility in Auschwitz

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Mobile Accessibility in Auschwitz

By Maggie Kuck, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Some of the first victims of the Holocaust where differently abled individuals. Those who were
sent to Auschwitz were immediately directed into a gas chamber. So walking around Auschwitz
with the lens of accessibility would make anyone stop and ponder.

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The Neglected History of Auschwitz

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The Neglected History of Auschwitz

By Maggie Kuck, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

I’m staying in a hotel in Auschwitz. No, not the camp, although I can see it from the comfort of a modern lobby. Before my trip to Poland I, like many others, did not know that there was anything
significant that surrounded the former Nazi concentration and death camp.

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Who Will Stand Witness?

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Who Will Stand Witness?

By Cheyenne Paris, Brandeis University

Who will stand witness?
A town an hour west from the city
On an afternoon at the end of May
So close to summer,
the taste is on the air.
The blue of the sky reflected in the eyes of those
walking the cobblestones
biking the narrow streets
framed by buildings
two, three,
four stories.

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Holocaust survivors return home to Oswiecim, only to find their belongings seized and homes inhabited

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Holocaust survivors return home to Oswiecim, only to find their belongings seized and homes inhabited

By Kalen Michals, Simmons Univeristy

The town of Oświęcim, Poland is known worldwide, for it is the location of the most notorious Nazi concentration and death camp: Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although most commonly referred to as Auschwitz, its German translation, the town of Oświęcim was home to many Jews prior to the outbreak of WWII. However, when Holocaust survivors returned home to Oświęcim after liberation, they found their homes and businesses reclaimed by their one-time neighbors.

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Remembering Those Before Us

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Remembering Those Before Us

By Jessie Levine, Simmons University

Only several miles away from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp, the Auschwitz Jewish
Cemetery holds the memories of the town’s Jews going back generations. Before the German
occupation of Poland, Oświęcim, a small town west of Kraków, had a population of about
12,000 people, 8,000 of them being Jews.

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Oswiecim

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Oswiecim

By Madeline Herrup, Brandeis University

It is difficult to find faith in a town that is coated in a history of darkness.
It is difficult to find faith in a world of darkness.
There images of “there is no god” flow down rivers of sadness, fear, a fear that I don’t specify to this town I mean this world we live in now.

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What Happened to “Never Again?”

When she first came to the United States, Holocaust survivor Mary Ehrlich thought extreme incidences of Anti-Semitism were left in the history of Eastern Europe and she wouldn’t have to face that intensity of fear and anxiety again. However, due to recent events, her anxieties are returning and she remembers, “this is how it started, hate is a terrible thing and people turn overnight.”

Olga Grun

Olga Grun

I have always known that my grandma, Olga Grun, survived the Holocaust. As a young kid I would peek at her arm, where her identification number was etched into her arm, an inescapable reminder of what she and many others went through. There will come a day where there are no more survivors, no more tattoos to remind us, but I’ll get back to this. As I grew older I became more and more curious about her story.

Seeing Germany Close Up

Seeing Germany Close Up

I’ve traveled out of the United States four times in my life, and each of those times have been organized group trips with a school or school affiliate. With time to reflect, I’ve come to realize my experiences with Germany Close Up were the most meaningful of my four journeys.

Yom Hashoah at Brandeis University

Yom Hashoah at Brandeis University

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed as the day of commemoration for the lives of the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. All around the world, this day is commemorated on the 27th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, which fell on April 12th this year.