Daily Dispatches

Day Eleven: Looking Back to Open Our Minds Going Forward

By Dayton Martindale KRAKOW — A woman stands gaunt and naked facing the camera, the protruding lines of her bones stark in the black and white image. We saw numerous images like this during our two-day visit to Auschwitz. For us, such pictures were a difficult but valuable part of our education; we needed to […]

Day Ten: Fragments, Facts and Windows of Vulnerability

by Natalie Lampert OSWIECIM, Poland – After a week of travels that included a meeting with a Holocaust survivor and a visit to the death camp at Auschwitz, our group had to confront an uncomfortable question: do journalists have an obligation to fact-check a Holocaust survivor? “Every survivor will tell you about his or her […]

Day Nine: Building a Holocaust Narrative on a Foundation of Facts

  By Rachel Gross AUSCHWITZ — Standing in this wretched brick building in the women’s barracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we begin to take in the impossible details. Around us are 180 wooden bunks, each slightly larger than a twin-sized bed, stacked three bunks high. Each held three to seven women, for a total of anywhere from […]

Day Eight: Journey to Auschwitz

By Priscilla Thompson Oświęcim, Poland — David Goldman has visited Auschwitz at least 30 times in his life. FASPE’s founder remembers his first time vividly. “It was very sad, I had no one to share it with,” David said. “I called my parents on the phone, but they didn’t know what I had gone through and […]

Day Seven: To Welcome or Shun the Outsider: FASPE Fellows Grapple with Identity in a World of Migrants and Immigrants

By Christine Rushton KRAKOW — We started our day with a stimulating lecture on Polish identity in the 20th century, given by a professor at Poland’s oldest university. It quickly became clear that Poles defined themselves not only by who they are, but by who they are not. It was all about the “other” in Polish […]

Day Six: Magiczny Crakow — Welcome to Krakow

By: Matt Beagle KRAKOW — After an early morning flight from Berlin, troubleshooting a lost passport (later found) and a bus ride into the center of the city, the FASPE fellows arrived in Krakow. On the bus into the city, our Krakow faculty member Kasiha Suszkiewicz taught us important phrases in Polish: “hello,” “thank you,” and […]

Day Three: A childhood of flight; escaping the Nazi regime

By Katrina Clarke BERLIN — Franz Michalski spent his childhood evading Nazis. The survivor of Nazi persecution met with FASPE journalism fellows at the Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt (Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind) on Tuesday. Franz, who suffered a stroke six years ago and has trouble speaking, spoke through his wife Petra with the […]

Day Five: Turning a ‘Spotlight’ on Ethics for Lawyers and Journalists

  By Harriet Dedman BERLIN — The FASPE lawyers and journalists joined forces today to discuss the legal and journalistic ethics arising out of the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.” We gathered underground in central Berlin as we had earlier in the week to watch the film “Conspiracy.” The Memorial For The Murdered Jews of Europe […]

Day Four: Walking Track 17, Remembering a Meeting with Death at Wannsee

By Sarah Esther Maslin BERLIN — The Nazis traveled to the Wannsee Conference in chauffeured cars and private airplanes. The Jews marched to Track 17 on foot. FASPE fellows took a bus to these two sites on May 25, 2016, to walk in the shoes of others. We learned about the decades-long effort to get […]

Day Two: Examining Open Scars

  by Catherine Bennett BERLIN — The Topography of Terror, as our guide and historian Thorsten Wagner told us, stands as “an open scar on the urban landscape.” Defined by steel lines and horizontal bars that encase a cube-shaped, cage-like design, the building sits in the middle of an expanse of jagged gray rocks. No […]

Day One: “This Thing We Will Never Mention”

Inside the Neue Wache memorial in Berlin, dedicated to the victims of war and dictatorship. Our Day in a Nutshell: BERLIN — We started our first day in Germany with a talk from David Goldman, the founder of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), who recalled that when he first […]