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Comparing Poland yesterday and today based on daily themes such as a thousand years of Jewish life in Poland; dilemmas surrounding life and death and bearing witness; and personal reflection and soul searching are just a few of the ways teachers will focus on the history of the Holocaust. Accompanied by a Holocaust survivor, teachers will view Poland, its people, its government and socioeconomics in unique ways that will increase their understanding of the value of diversity and the results of prejudice. This experience is powerful and life changing. It offers a distinctive view of the history of Poland, its current position in global relationships and how genocide remains a reality today in third world countries.
In advance of travel, teachers will engage in 5 pre-departure workshops that will focus on relevant topics designed to give them baseline knowledge and information to create context for the seminar.
As a follow-up to the seminar, teachers will meet for 2 workshops to share the instructional materials that they designed for their students and to further reflect on their experience. Teachers are eligible to receive 3 Act 48 Credits or 90 Act 48 hours of continuing professional education through Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3 for a minimal fee.
Teachers will also receive a Resource Book especially compiled for the seminar that includes timelines, maps, historical documents and statistics as well as thematic articles relevant to each day's activities. It also includes site specific articles that offer additional information that teachers can draw from as they develop unit and lesson plans for their students. Poland Personally: A Study Seminar to Poland immerses teachers in Poland and its culture and thus Poland becomes an interactive textbook supported by the knowledge and skills of a highly qualified scholar and personal travel guide.
Although the seminar answers many questions that students of history pose, numerous other questions are raised by virtue of the mini-lectures and follow-up discussions.
Some of the questions raised by this seminar are:
- Why were the Germans the main perpetrators and why were the Jews the main victims?
- What is the roll of traditional anti-Semitism, prejudice and racism in enabling the Nazis to implement the Final Solution?
- What kind of leadership evolved among the perpetrators and the victims and what were some of the dilemmas they faced?
- How did the relationship between Jews and Poles before, during and after the War impact their mutual perceptions and roles in the Holocaust?
- How diversified was Jewish culture in Europe on the eve of World War II? How did this manifest itself religiously and politically in Poland?
- What lessons does the Holocaust teach us for the future and how can we implement them?
The major purposes of this seminar are to:
- Examine and discuss how and why the most civilized nation in Europe attempted to eliminate the Jewish people
- Understand the dynamics of how a totalitarian regime operates
- Define the moral and ethical dilemmas facing both the victims and the bystanders in the Holocaust and identify the lessons learned
- Study the pre-World War II interrelationships between diverse cultures in Europe, utilizing the Jewish model as a key empirical case.
- Compare and contrast the dilemmas of diversity in modern Europe with what is happening in the United States today
- Examine the characteristics of Polish and Jewish culture, their cross-fertilization and interaction from the beginning of the modern era until today
- Enable educators to create classroom programs, activities, unit and lesson plans that will reflect the knowledge and experience they have acquired so that their students will be more informed about the causes and outcomes of the Holocaust
For more information email [email protected]