Posts Tagged ‘Auschwitz’

Vulnerable sources can make journalists vulnerable

By Alexandra Levine In the wake of a traumatic event, journalists must quickly decide if and how to respond. When writing and reporting on trauma, journalists are tasked with handling stories as ethically and sensitively as possible — with “sensitivity” having a broad range of meanings. Some journalists may not seem sensitive at all, asking […]

Writing about the dead*

By Laura Smith Recently, I stood in the woods near Auschwitz in Oświęcim, Poland—the same woods where Jews waited to enter the gas chambers. It was a picnic-worthy spring day. The sun filtered through the pine trees. Unable to imagine the horror that had happened there, my thoughts turned instead to a picture I had […]

Talking through what’s taboo: how I uncovered my family history

By Alexandra Levine I was physically and mentally exhausted. We had walked much of Kraków that day, and we were off to Auschwitz the next. I sank into the red sofa in the hotel lobby and as soon as I got back on Wi-Fi, I found a jarring text message from my Mom. “You do […]

On the outside looking in

By Laura Smith Early on, the FASPE faculty urged us not to have expectations about our reactions to Auschwitz—and despite all their urging, we often had expectations. In some ways, my expectations were met: I expected to feel and mostly did feel incomprehension and blankness. I think this is reasonable. I don’t think anyone can […]


By Krzysztof Sadomski Before we travelled to Auschwitz, we were warned that we should not expect anything—that visiting such a horrifying place can cause different emotions in different people and therefore we should not judge others, but instead focus on our own reactions. A few days before coming to Poland, we had visited the Memorial […]

Art and photography at Auschwitz

By Jessica Davey-Quantick There is an image of fuzzy kittens cavorting on the wall of one of the bathrooms at Auschwitz 1. “Prisoners did it,” says Pawel Sawicki, who works in the press office at Auschwitz. He calls the kittens “semi-official art”: art that was not exactly approved, but likely did not attract punishment. In […]

Holocaust tourism

By Alexandra Levine A number of telephone poles around Kraków are plastered with a large, bright blue flier advertising trips to Auschwitz, the largest Nazi German concentration camp and death camp of World War II. The woman in the ad—smiling ear to ear, eyes wide with excitement—poses in front an ominous, barbed-wire fence that 70 […]