Willimantic, Conn. – From May 15–30, eight students with Eastern Connecticut State University spent two weeks in Poland and Hungary taking a global field course titled “The Nazi Aftermath in Central Europe: History, the Media and the Holocaust.”
The immersive course sought to broaden students’ awareness of the historical impact of the Holocaust; develop understanding of the role of the press in different types of societies; and develop an understanding of how media influences culture. Class assignments included maintaining a journal of activities, carrying out tour duties in different teams, reading required texts and writing a trip report upon returning home.
In Poland, trip participants toured scenes of the Warsaw Ghetto and Old Town, both of which were completely destroyed in inner-city fighting during World War II. They also visited the historic Polish Royal Capital of Krakow, which successfully avoided serious wartime damage. Krakow also served as a base for excursions to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, as well a Jagiellonian University. In both Polish cities and in Hungary’s capital of Budapest the Eastern students met with noted European academics, student peers, U.S. Embassy officials and experts on the Holocaust and Judaic Studies.
“Although I came on this trip to learn about the Holocaust, history, media and the Nazi aftermath, I learned much more,” remarked one student who wishes to remain anonymous. “I was finally able to experience cultures other than my own, and I was able to use my information and knowledge bank collected over the years (the most recent from Eastern) to good use on the trip.”
The course was supervised by Eastern Professor of Communication Cesar Beltran and brought six Eastern students abroad, along with one student from the University of Connecticut and one from Yale University.