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Sunday, March 18 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
The Auschwitz Classroom: Learning, Teaching and Understanding Empathy and Coexistence in 20th-Century Poland

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In 2006, I spent the summer in Oswiecim, the Polish town better known by its infamous German name, to study and learn at the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Spending two months in southwestern Poland solidified both my commitment to study for a doctorate in the modern Jewish history of east central Europe and, ironically, my inability to fully understand that tragedy that had unfolded in this sad yet beautiful place. One decade later, with my PhD and glossy new business cards from Tulane University in hand, I returned to Oswiecim to once again become part of a classroom, but this time as a professor. In this session, I will take my audience on a journey that is at once personal and professional. I will explore how learning, teaching and understanding in the Auschwitz classroom can illuminate the trajectory of Jewish-Gentile coexistence in modern Poland, help us understand how minorities and refugees “fit” into European societies, and, finally, can engender empathy that has the potential to transcend classroom walls.

avatar for Sarah Cramsey

Sarah Cramsey

Dr. Sarah A. Cramsey is a Professor of Practice of Jewish Studies at Tulane University. She received her doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as degrees from Oxford University and the College of William & Mary. Dr. Cramsey has received funding... Read More →

Sunday March 18, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm CDT
Library, JCC