Daily Dispatches

Day 8: If Objectivity Doesn’t Exist, What Happens to Fairness?

By Anna-Catherine Brigida Journalists have called our work “the first rough draft of history.” For the last two weeks as we have studied Nazi Germany and the failures of our profession in reporting the Holocaust, this idea has hung heavy over my head. When I look back on my work decades from now, I want […]


Day 8: Photographing Auschwitz

By Erin McKinstry I knew it would happen, but I was still shocked when it did. A few days ago, we visited Auschwitz I. As we passed through the gate, our guide asked us to please follow some ground rules. She and the other guides consider the site a cemetery—a final, unwilling resting place for […]


Day 7: No Words

By Dorian Jedrasiewicz Some places are too difficult to describe; there are no words with which to tell the story. There are sunbeams shining on ruined buildings. There are tears, and silence, and proof. Proof of the worst crimes that humanity ever committed. As Abe Rosenthal wrote many years ago in the New York Times, […]


Day 7: Paris, Rome, and Auschwitz

By Anna Pazos Two million people visited Auschwitz in 2017, a record number of visitors since survivors reopened the death camp to the public 70 years ago. Before boarding the bus there, historian Thorsten Wagner warned us: entering the camp can be off-putting. There will be rows of buses in the parking lot, vending machines, […]


Protected: Day 6: No Answers at Auschwitz

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Day 6: What Does it Mean to Report from Auschwitz?

In this short photo-series, Laurence Ivil asks the viewer to reflect on the act of visiting and documenting a historical site of memory, atrocity, and resistance.        


Day 5: Broadsheet Distortions

By Rebekah F. Ward How do Nazis marching families of Jewish prisoners to the gas chambers at Auschwitz II affect you? How about a mob of 1870s-era Klansmen lynching African-American men in South Carolina? What if these events had happened yesterday and you could see one or the other on the front page of your […]


Day 4: Where is America’s Topography of Terror?

By Anne Branigin Like other memorials and museums dedicated to Nazi Germany, the Topography of Terror is not without dissonance. The block that once housed the Gestapo and SS—names that have become synonymous with state terror and mass murder—is now overrun with lines of tourists and their guides. Along the ruins of a brick wall, […]


Day 4: “Dig Where You Stand”

By Rhaina Cohen For years I’ve had a distinct impression of post-war Germany: it’s a nation that’s done the painful, shame-inducing work of confronting their past. The German state has paid reparations to victims of Nazi crimes. In the center of Berlin, you can hardly walk a few blocks without stumbling on a monument or […]


Day 3: Visiting Wannsee and Track 17

By Connor Radnovich   The Wannsee Conference villa was troublingly loud. It didn’t make sense for the dining room to reverberate with the clattering of life. Absent the events of Jan. 20, 1942, perhaps it would be appropriate for the centenarian home to have squeaky floors, warped by millions of steps and dozens of winters. […]


Protected: Day 2: Margot Friedlander’s Story

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Protected: Day 2: Margot Friedlander and Post-Holocaust Narratives

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Day 2: One Morning With a Holocaust Survivor

By Belle Cushing Margot Friedlander never thought she would come back to Berlin. She left the city on a train from Grünewald station, heading north to the Theresienstadt ghetto, in June 1944. Sixty-five years later, she returned to her city, and now she tells German teenagers and groups like FASPE about surviving the Holocaust. On […]


Day 1: A Walk in Berlin Sparks Many Questions. That’s the Point.

By Jordyn Holman Everywhere I walk here, I am reminded of what came before. On the first day of FASPE, historian and instructor Thorsten Wagner led the fellows from the journalism, business and law programs on a walking tour of Berlin. It was my first time here, and I realized that my high school history […]