Very few times throughout history have atrocities been committed that come close to that of the Holocaust. We have all learned about it in history class, though it is hard for Americans to fathom the unmitigated slaughter of nearly 6 million people of many diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Next fall, however, several lucky Winthrop students will get the opportunity to read the literature that helped illustrate the difficulty of surviving within the chaotic world that became World War II-era Europe.
The class, English 321, or Holocaust Literature, taught by English professor Dr. Ann Jordan, is a unique class where students will spend one Monday night a week discussing assigned literature.
At the end of the course, students will actually travel to Europe to experience the places represented in the books they will study, including parts of both the Netherlands and Germany, two countries deeply affected by the Holocaust.
They will visit places such as the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. Students will also get the opportunity to see Berlin, the capital of Germany, as well as Munich, Germany, each rich with a culture all their own. Both cities are greatly relevant in the context of the course as well.
Students will also experience a side of Germany that is taken very seriously in the region: Christmas. Since the class takes place in the fall, the trip will occur in early December.
This offers the truly unique experience for the students to see Weihnachtmarkt, or a Christmas market. It is essentially an open-air market of Christmas-related items. In many towns it is the biggest event of the year, drawing tourists from across the world to see and purchase one of a kind Christmas items.
If you are considering taking the class, but are hesitant because you do not speak German or Dutch, you have no reason to worry. Being linguistically versatile countries, many people in the area speak English.
Jordan has taken trips to other countries previously, including a trip to Greece from which she recently returned. Professor Jordan taught at Flensburg University in Germany and knows a little German.
“The trip [to Greece] went well, except for the usual problems that accompany travel abroad,” Jordan said.
That being said, she expects equally good things to come from this unique opportunity for students to better understand both German culture, as well as a firsthand account of the Holocaust and the toll it took on so many people.
Any student interested in participating should contact Ann Jordan in Bancroft 261 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information pertaining to the trip.