HERC & UW Students on Poland Study-Abroad Trip

“Auschwitz was a different planet,” wrote Holocaust survivor and novelist Yehiel Dinur, known by his pen name Katzetnik. Over 70 years after the liberation of the Nazi Death and Labor camps, humanity can still not provide a decisive answer to the question “Why?” – how could a crime of this magnitude happen, the destruction six million Jews and five million non-Jews, murdered for the sake of a racist, hallucinatory and hateful ideology?

At The Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC), we teach the lessons of the Holocaust to a variety of ages, exploring different related themes and employing different methods.

HERC is proud to offer a new program to college students: in the next two weeks we will teach the lessons of the Holocaust by bearing witness to some of its focal points: Auschwitz, Majdanek, the Warsaw Ghetto, Ponary, and the Ninth Fort –  these terrifying names will stand at the heart of our trip.

Through a gift of an anonymous donor, granted by the Jewish Community Foundation of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, we were able to provide scholarships to 14 fortunate students from UW-Milwaukee, Madison and Oshkosh. The grant allows our students an incredible learning experience: an appreciation of Jewish life in Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages up to WWII, and a profound understanding of the Holocaust by standing on the soil, on which it took place.  View the trip’s photo album here.

– Dr. Shay Pilnik, HERC Executive Director