Six students from Eastern Connecticut State University recently traveled to Europe as part of Communication Professor Cesar Beltran’s course “The Nazi Aftermath in Central Europe: History, the Media and the Holocaust.” This course, offered as one of Eastern’s “global field courses,” sought to analyze the historical, political, cultural and economic effects that World War II and the Holocaust had and continue to have today.
Student Taylor Herold said of the trip, “Global field courses are a valuable experience because you learn so much while experiencing some amazing places. You learn by actually going to famous historical sites where the action happened. It’s not like learning about it from a book. You are learning hands on and nothing can compete with that.”
In an effort to analyze how past conflicts have shaped communication throughout Europe, the group traveled to Poland, Austria and Hungary. Through visiting Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Vienna’s Centropa Institute and Budapest’s Central European University, as well as meeting with U.S. Embassy officials, the students obtained a much better understanding of the widespread effects that the Holocaust had throughout Europe. They also went to Brody Studios, an arts club in Budapest, where esteemed television personality, author and historian Tessa Dunlop spoke about the “Enigma” machine, which was used to decipher codes during World War II.
The group also travelled to Auschwitz-Birkenau, infamous concentration camp and location of countless atrocities. “You can read every book and see every movie on the Holocaust but nothing can prepare you for being at the actual site where so many innocent people were murdered,” said Herold. “There truly are no words to describe what it was like to be there.”
The group also took time to visit historical and cultural landmarks, including Wawel Castle in Krakow, the Imperial Ring in Vienna and the Castle District of Budapest.