OUWB medical college students study Jewish life in Poland as a part of deep dive into Auschwitz


Nineteen college students from Oakland College William Beaumont College of Medication spent the primary a part of the week in Krakow, Poland, making ready for a go to to a World Battle II focus camp as a part of the college’s Holocaust and Medication program.

Led by a neighborhood tour information, Tuesday and Wednesday allowed college students to see firsthand how Jewish individuals lived pre-war — and the way that world was thrown into chaos when the German Nazis attacked in 1939.

On Tuesday, college students visited Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, together with Remuh Synagogue (Synagoga Remuh), a small Renaissance synagogue relationship to the 1500s; the adjoining Remah Cemetery, one of many oldest current Jewish cemeteries in Poland; and visited the Oskar Schindler Manufacturing facility to expertise a everlasting exhibition referred to as “Krakow beneath Nazi Occupation 1939-1945.”

On Wednesday college students visited a number of different important websites in Krakow — Galicia Jewish Museum, the Eagle Pharmacy, Ghetto Heroes Sq., the principle sq. of the Outdated City of Krakow, Jagiellonian College Museum Collegium Maius, and Wawel Cathedral.

“All the pieces’s been a ramp as much as the examine that will likely be accomplished at Auschwitz,” mentioned Jason Wasserman, Ph.D., affiliate professor, Division of Foundational Medical Research, and co-director of OUWB’s Holocaust and Medication program.

Particularly, he mentioned serving to college students study “about Jewish historical past in Poland, and Polish historical past.”

As a part of a first-of-its-kind examine at a U.S. medical college, college students will tour Auschwitz on Thursday and Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday. Each days additionally will embrace lectures associated to the Holocaust and medication together with reflective writing, dialogue, and extra — all designed to immediate college students to mirror on the implications of the Holocaust for one’s personal private {and professional} improvement inside the medical career.

“The primary two days have set the stage for the central expertise (of the examine journey to Auschwitz),” mentioned Wasserman.

Hedy Wald, Ph.D., scientific professor of Household Medication on the Warren Alpert Medical College of Brown College, and co-director of OUWB’s Holocaust and Medication program, echoed Wasserman’s ideas.

“College students have talked about that they’re grateful for this time in Krakow as a result of it’s making ready them emotionally (for Auschwitz) …I’m struck by that,” she mentioned.

‘Historical past repeats’
Tour information Aleksandra Kowalczyk has been main guests on excursions of Krakow for 15 years and led them each days for the OUWB college students. She mentioned understanding the previous is vital to forestall the atrocities of the Holocaust from repeating.

“Sadly, we are able to observe that historical past repeats,” she mentioned, noting the present assault on Ukraine by Russia. “That’s why we at all times stress that it’s vital to recollect the previous to not enable it to occur once more.”

Students listening to tour guide
Tour information Aleksandra Kowalczyk (proper) talks to OUWB medical college students in Krakow, Poland’s Ghetto Heroes Sq. on June 15, 2022. 

For college kids, seeing the websites helped acknowledge the realities and horrors of the Holocaust and World Battle II.

For Jonathan Blake, it was throughout Wednesday’s go to to the Galicia Jewish Museum.

That’s the place college students toured the exhibition referred to as “Candy Dwelling Candy: A Story of Survival, Reminiscence, and Returns.” The exhibition is devoted to 3 generationS of 1 household and explores how Holocaust reminiscence and narratives are transmitted by way of generations and the way the kids and grandchildren of survivors have interaction with up to date Poland.

The tour information defined how one of many relations who survived the Holocaust thought-about Poland a cemetery post-war because of the tragic nature of what occurred.

“He didn’t need his kids to smile once they had been taking footage out of reverence and respect to the individuals…that modified my perspective,” mentioned Blake. “It turned greater than a reality…that is anyone’s life story.”

Saini Kethireddy was moved to tears when an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor spoke to the group after the tour at Galacia Jewish Museum.

By way of interpreter, Lidia Maksymowicz shared her harrowing story of surviving the Holocaust. She was taken to the focus camp as a 3-year-old, separated from her household.

“You possibly can learn individuals’s memoirs and quotes, however simply seeing and listening to it in particular person like this simply makes it a lot extra actual,” mentioned Kethireddy. “After we go to Auschwitz, it’s simply going to really feel extra actual.”

Kethireddy additionally mentioned Maksymowicz had an impression on her when she instructed the scholars that “the world is in your fingers” with regard to historical past repeating and the way in which individuals deal with others.

“It touches my coronary heart and I’m impressed to make the correct decisions extra typically,” she mentioned.

Kaycee Fillmore additionally mentioned studying concerning the pre-war tradition of Jewish individuals from the realm was helpful.

“I’ve actually loved seeing the tradition earlier than we go to Auschwitz and see the devastation that resulted from the Holocaust,” she mentioned. “It’s good to have background on how the Jewish individuals lived earlier than their lives had been upended.”

For each day updates and extra concerning the OUWB Research Journey to Auschwitz, click on right here.

For extra info, contact Andrew Dietderich, advertising and marketing author, OUWB, at [email protected] 

To request an interview, go to the OUWB Communications & Advertising webpage.

NOTICE: Besides the place in any other case famous, all articles are revealed beneath a Inventive Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You’re free to repeat, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make industrial use of this work so long as you attribute Oakland College William Beaumont College of Medication as the unique creator and embrace a hyperlink to this text.

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