A Turn to Narrative

By Cheryl Chaffin, 2014 AJC Fellow Italian chemist, writer, and camp survivor Primo Levi wrote in his “Self-Interview” in 1976, “I returned to Auschwitz in 1965…I didn’t feel anything much when I visited the central camp. The Polish government has transformed it into a kind of national monument.” What does it take to feel the … Continued

The Art at Auschwitz

By Franziska A. Karpinski, 2014 AJC Fellow   On the third day of in-depth study visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau, it was not annihilation we learned about, but the opposite: courageous acts of resistance by prisoners of Auschwitz. The resistance we studied was not armed; it was not violent or public. Rather, but no less impressive and powerful, … Continued

The Tatar mosque in Navahrudak

By Holly Robertson Huffnagle, 2012 AJC Fellow    Before the Holocaust, Jews and Muslims lived in close proximity in the kresy (borderlands) of northeastern Poland. While an abundance of literature exists on Jewish-Christian relations in Poland, no scholarly comparison of the history of coexistence specifically between Jews and Muslims in this territory had been done. … Continued

Alumni Profile: Andrea Howard, 2014 ASAP Alum

  What inspired you to apply to the American Services Academies Program?  During the summer of 2013, I visited the children’s memorial at Yad Vashem during a Birthright trip to Israel. Standing among the stars in the memorial, I had my first memorable experience with the magnitude of the Holocaust’s devastation. However, I felt that … Continued

Volunteer Profile: Gesine Reichel, 2014-2015

Hometown: Brandenburg, Germany What attracted you to the AJC?  I am especially interested in history and politics and I like to teach people, so the AJC is the perfect place for me. Guiding tours and workshops, I teach people about the Jewish history of Oświęcim. By doing this, I can transmit the message of tolerance. … Continued

Artifact Spotlight: Stamps

  The Communist regime in Poland intended to control all religious organizations; it renamed Jewish communities “Jewish Religious Assemblies” and later “Jewish Religious Congregations.” These original stamps date back to the Communist era, reading: Jewish Religious Congregation of Oświęcim. It was, and is, required for various organizations such as religious institutions and businesses to use … Continued