Remembrance – the ability to Never Forget – has become a central mission of organizations formed by and dedicated to those who were murdered in or survived the Holocaust. Amizade’s Auschwitz program spans Germany and Poland and focuses on historical learning as a component of service, along with physical service at the historical Auschwitz Extermination Camp. Program participants bear witness to the wrenching atrocities of the Holocaust. They visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Berlin, tour former Jewish Neighborhoods there, and visit the Jewish Museum of Berlin.
Holocaust Historian Dr. Christopher Kopper guides many of the Amizade groups through Berlin before travelling with the groups by train to Krakow, where they disembark for more learning and service at the Auschwitz Extermination Camp. Touring the camp and nearby museum, where the physical structures of Holocaust Horrors still exist, is deeply disturbing and difficult. Participants soon learn, however, about the importance of remembrance and historic preservation, particularly in a world where Holocaust denials are still advanced.
Program participants physically engage in historic preservation work at the camp, uncovering roads overgrown with weeds or, at times, helping construct ramps to improve access for people with disabilities. Even more importantly, Amizade groups leave with deep and profound knowledge of the events of the Holocaust. Carrying that knowledge forward, they become a stronger part of the community of remembrance and witness that will continue to work to make real the mantra, “Never Again.”
Please view our opportunities for group programs at Auschwitz or the summer service-learning History of the Holocaust course offered through our partnership with West Virginia University.