Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) provides a unique historical lens to study contemporary ethics in the professions.
Prior to World War II, German professionals were highly regarded internationally. In many respects, they set the standard for a commitment to quality of practice and for independence from state and political influence. Yet, leaders and practitioners in each of the professions, and often the institutions they represented, became intimately involved in designing, enabling and/or executing the crimes of Nazi Germany. FASPE studies the perpetrators to display the power and role of professionals, to ask the basic questions of how and why professionals abandon their ethical guideposts and to create a compelling context for the study of contemporary ethical issues.
FASPE offers fellowships to students pursuing professional degrees in business, journalism, law, medicine and religion, as well as to early-career professionals in these fields. Fellows in each of FASPE’s five programs spend two intensive weeks in Germany and Poland, visiting Auschwitz and key historical sites in Berlin and Krakow, and participating in rigorous seminars led by experts in their respective fields. Fellows begin their studies by examining the roles their professional counterparts played in Germany and elsewhere from 1933-1945, and then draw on historical, cultural, philosophical, literary and discipline-specific sources to explore the ethical issues facing their fields today.
FASPE also provides shorter programs to mid-career professionals that integrate history and contemporary ethical issues. These include tailored onsite ethics training at corporations, law firms and other professional settings, as well as a condensed version of the program in Europe in which the FASPE fellows participate.
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