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Witness and Remembrance: Historic Learning and Preservation at Auschwitz

Program Number: 16732RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/2/2014 - 9/14/2014; 9/22/2015 - 10/4/2015;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Poland/Germany
Price starting at: $3,898.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 33; 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

How best to remember one of the most unforgettable horrible chapters in human history? For Holocaust survivors, part of the answer is to preserve the memories of the genocide that killed six million European Jews — as well as Roma, people with disabilities, and others — so that the legacy of those who died will live on. Join expert lecturers for discussions of the historical circumstances and ideology that led to the rise of Nazism. Learn about Jewish life in Poland before the war, confront the evil of the concentration camps at Auschwitz, and help preserve memory through service projects.




Highlights

• Help to preserve the legacy of those who died at Auschwitz through historical landscape preservation projects at Auschwitz and the Jewish Cemetery in Oswiecim.
• Visit key sites in Berlin, including the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Wannsee Conference Mansion, where SS leaders discussed the “Final Solution.”
• Learn about Jewish life before and after the war through meetings with members of the Jewish community.



Activity Particulars

Moderate walking on sidewalks, dirt and gravel paths; some short flights of stairs; and periods of standing. Service work is outdoors and includes activities such as raking, sweeping, and landscaping to help minimize the impact of more than 1 million annual visitors to Auschwitz and to maintain the Jewish cemetery in Oswiecim according to survivors' wishes.



Your service will be both intellectual and physical, as you bear witness to the reality of what happened and preserve memory through historical landscape preservation at Auschwitz as well as at the Jewish Cemetery in Oswiecim. By performing these tasks with care and reverence for those who died, you provide a living, contemplative witness to history.




Date Specific Information

9-2-2014, 9-22-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Berlin (Germany), 3 nights; coach to Auschwitz (Poland), 6 nights; coach to Krakow, 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Berlin (Germany)
3 nights

Gain an understanding of the Third Reich and its plans for the Final Solution at the Holocaust Memorial and the Wannsee Conference Mansion.



Coach to Oswiecim (Poland)
6 nights
Coach to Kraków
2 nights
Departure

Learn about memory and remembrance and participate in service work at Auschwitz and the Jewish Cemetery. Visit the buildings and memorial sites of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau). Discover the Polish cities of Oswiecim and Krakow, including the historic Jewish district of Kazimierz.




Accommodations
Berlin: Family-managed hotel in heart of city. Auschwitz: Comfortable retreat center in neighborhood of Auschwitz concentration camp. Krakow: Boutique hotel in fashionable Kazimierz district.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Matthias Hass

Dr. Matthias Hass is a political scientist and expert in the historical foundations of politics. He is a native of Germany and a graduate of the Free University of Berlin. From 2005 to 2009, he was the director of the U.S. program Action Reconciliation Service for Peace in Philadelphia, and he is experienced in organizing international educational programs. Dr. Hass is the author of “The Politics of Memory in Germany, Israel and the United States of America."
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz
  Berlin, Germany 3 nights
   Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
  Auschwitz, Poland 6 nights
   Campanile Krakow
  Krakow, Poland 2 nights
 Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz
Type: Hotel
  Description: Bed-and-breakfast hotel Bar/lounge Parking (surcharge) 1 bottle of mineral water, Personal daily newspaper - complimentary TV room and Reading room 24-hour front desk Number of rooms: 35 Elevator/lift
  Contact info: Weserstr. 24
10247 Berlin - Friedrichshain
Berlin,   10247 Germany
phone: +49 030 293341 - 0
web: www.gold-hotel-berlin.de/index.html
  Room amenities: Cable TV with remote control Radio Separate luggage store Telephone by the bed Sound-proofed windows, windows open Hairdryer Bathroom with bathtub Bathroom with shower Bathroom with window
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Type: Hotel
  Description: Run by the Conference of the Catholic Church in Poland, organizes visits of the camp museum and service learning activities
  Contact info: Ul. M. Kolbiego, 1
Oswiecim,  32-602 Poland
phone: +48-33-843 10 00
web: www.centrum-dialogu.oswiecim.pl
  Facility amenities: Private bathrooms in all hotel rooms, conference hall and meeting rooms, TV lounge, library, snack/coffee bar. Full board meal service with Polish cuisine. One shared computer terminal at the reception desk with internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Campanile Krakow
Type: Hotel
  Description: Close to Main Market Square
  Contact info: ul. Św.Tomasza 34
Krakow,  31-023 Poland
phone: +48 (012) 424 26 00
web: www.campanile.com.pl/krk_cmp_eng.html
  Room amenities: A/C A bathroom with both bath & shower Automatic wake-up call A telephone with direct outside line connections Satellite TV and Canal + A work desk A computer socket for internet connections A Welcome Tray with a kettle, coffee, tea and biscuits
  Facility amenities: Cafe Campanile on site
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $160/room for 1-2 people Available upon request.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
12 pm You will be staying at Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz that night.
  End of Program:
12 pm You will be staying at Campanile Krakow the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Required Documents: Passport needed. For both Germany and Poland, U.S. citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. Liability Waiver.
  Parking availability:
The program starts in one city and ends in another; therefore, parking a car for the duration of the program is not practical.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Public transit from Berlin-Tegel airport to the Gold Hotel is possible for 2.10 Euros: Bus TXL to Beusselstrasse - Train S41 to Frankfurter Allee - Subway direction Alexanderplatz to Samariterstrasse stop. Hotel is 3 blocks away.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Berlin
  Nearest airport:  Berlin-Tegel
  Transportation to site: Amizade will arrange taxi transit.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Krakow
  Nearest airport:  Krakow
  Transportation from site: Amizade will arrange taxi transit.
Equipment Requirements: Gardening/landscaping tools and work gloves will be provided. You may bring your own work gloves, if you like.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight flight to Berlin
(Tuesday, September 2)
   
 In Transit: In flight.

Day 2: Arrive in Berlin. Berlin is also the nation's capital and dates back to the 13th century. Reset your internal travel clock with a day of light activities. Explore the Friedrichshain area, with its diverse inhabitants, coffee shops and restaurants.
(Wednesday, September 3)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Berlin. Travelers on the Road Scholar flight will be greeted at the airport. We suggest independent travelers take a taxi from the Berlin-Tegel airport to the Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz. Price at the time of this writing was approx. 30 Euros.
 Lunch: At local restaurant - depending on arrival times
 Afternoon: Orientation walk through the Friedrichshain or Berlin center.
 Dinner: At local restaurant
 Evening: Free time.
   
Accommodations: Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Participants will visit the Topography of Terror exhibit and the former site of the Berlin wall as well as Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz.
(Thursday, September 4)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Excursion to the Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) and visit to the Topography of Terror- an outdoor museum on the site of the former headquarters of the Gestapo and SS. Visit to one of the largest surviving segments of the Berlin Wall.
 Lunch: At a restaurant near the Brandenburg Gate
 Afternoon: Tour around Brandenburg Gate and visit Potsdamer Platz, the reunified city's new commercial centerpiece. One of Europe's busiest squares in the 1920's, and site of the world's first traffic light, the square was destroyed in WWII and become a no-man's land, bisected by the Wall during the Cold War. Potsdamer Platz in now home to the Berlin International Film Festival.
 Dinner: At local restaurant
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Participants will visit the Wannsee Conference Memorial House and the Jewish Museum
(Friday, September 5)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Visit the Wannsee Conference Memorial House and Education Site where SS representatives met to discuss plans to implement the "Final Solution."
 Lunch: at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: (continued) Visit the Wannsee Conference Memorial House and Education Site where SS representatives met to discuss plans to implement the "Final Solution."
 Dinner: at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free time.
   
Accommodations: Gold Hotel am Wismarplatz
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Trasfer to Oswiecim for Service Program.
(Saturday, September 6)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Today will have a scenic drive from Berlin to Oswiecim/Auschwitz. (Oswiecim is sometimes still called Auschwitz, its German name, in reference to the Auschwitz concentration camp).
 Lunch: en route
 Afternoon: Arrive at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer. Orientation to Service Program.
 Dinner: At the Center. While the evening meal in Poland sometimes consists of a cold entree, we have requested a hot meal for your arrival. Please note that alcoholic beverages are not available for purchase at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Excursion to Auschwitz Jewish Center and guided tour of Auschwitz I - the Auschwitz concentration camp.
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at Center.
 Morning: Presentation by staff member of Center for Dialogue and Prayer and excursion to Auschwitz Jewish Center to learn about Jewish life in Oswiecim prior to World War II.
 Lunch: At Center. In Poland, the heaviest meal is served mid-day, and usually consists of a soup, salad, meat, and starch.
 Afternoon: Guided visit to Auschwitz I. This tour takes approximately three hours. Personal headphones are provided to each participant to better hear the group leader.
 Dinner: At the Center. Dinners are lighter than American meals. In the evenings, they may serve one hot dish (like a sausage or pierogies) with a side or two, or cold foods such as cold cuts, cheese, and bread.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: First day of service at the Jewish cemetery and a guided visit of Auschwitz II (Birkenau) - known as the extermination camp.
(Monday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Center.
 Morning: Orientation and service work at the Jewish Cemetery in Oswiecim. Help maintain this historic cemetery which was violated by the Nazis who removed stones to pave roads, for example. The cemetery is currently maintained by a part-time groundskeeper who needs help restoring the cemetery to an appropriate state to honor the memory of those who died. You may help cut away weeds that have encroached upon gravesites and assist with other landscaping projects.
 Lunch: At the Center
 Afternoon: Guided visit through the extermination camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau). This tour takes approximately three hours. Headphones are not available for this portion of the tour.
 Dinner: At the Center
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Service work and tour of survivor's art installation at Harmeze Monastery.
(Tuesday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Center
 Morning: Complete the service work at the Jewish cemetery.
 Lunch: at the Center
 Afternoon: Visit of survior's art exhibition at the Harmeze monastery.
 Dinner: In town, at the Hotel Galicjia, which once entertained French President Jacques Chirac.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Service work and tour the National Exhibitions at Auschwitz I and meeting with a special speaker on the Holocaust.
(Wednesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Center.
 Morning: Help maintain the grounds at Auschwitz, to minimize the impact of over one million annual visitors. Take a self-guided tour of the National Exhibitions at Auschwitz I. Your service work may include sweeping paths, raking leaves, and removing debris. While these tasks may seem ordinary, know that you are making an extraordinary contribution to the local community as well as the broader community of Holocaust survivors. By performing even small tasks with care and reverence for those who died, you provide a living, contemplative witness to history. You are also demonstrating to the local community an ethic of volunteering. Few people spend more than a few hours at these sites; your program will allow you to spend several days. When weather interferes with our planned service, we will make every effort to reschedule service hours
 Lunch: At the Center
 Afternoon: Presentation by a special speaker knowledgeable about the Holocaust.
 Dinner: At the Center
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Today will include the completion of service work.
(Thursday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: At Center
 Morning: Continue service work at Auschwitz and self-guided visits to National Exhibitions.
 Lunch: At the Center
 Afternoon: Presentation by archivist for Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
 Dinner: At the Center
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Centre for Dialogue and Prayer (Hotel)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Travel to Krakow, Poland, visit the Galicia Jewish Museum.
(Friday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: At the Center
 Morning: Coach transfer to hotel in Krakow.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walking tour of Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow.Visit to Galicia Jewish Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: Campanile Krakow
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Walking tour of the historic city center in Krakow.
(Saturday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Walking tour of historic Krakow including the town square.
 Lunch: lunch at a traditional Polish restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to continue to explore and enjoy Krakow and the historic town square, shop for souvenirs or return to hotel to prepare for departure.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at restaurant in the old city.
   
Accommodations: Campanile Krakow
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Return to U.S.A.Participants departing independently may order a taxi from the Hotel Campanile.
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel (or bag breakfast for those departing before the breakfast service)
 Morning: Transfer to Krakow airport for return to U.S.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered


Author: Ruth Kluger


Survival at Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity


Author: Primo Levi


War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust


Author: Doris Bergen




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