Travel & Learn: the Holocaust
Dates: May 3rd - 16th, 2019 [Option to begin on May 6th]
Locations: Berlin, Krakow, Auschwitz, Lublin (Majdanek), Prague (Terezin)
Trip Leaders: Dr. Karen Blair & Dr. Rhea Hoskin
Estimated Costs: $3,200 - $4,000 per person, CAD (this would include all costs, including food, transportation, tours, etc.) Costs will vary individually based on food choices, accommodation choices, age (some things are free for students), flight options, etc.
Deposits and Payments: A deposit of $50 per person is required by December 15th in order to hold your spot. A second deposit of $500 is due by January 3rd, 2019. You are responsible for booking your own flights to and from Europe (although an estimate of $1,200 has been factored into the estimated costs shown above). All other costs will be split evenly between payments due on January 20th, February 20th, and March 20th.
Reserve your spot
If you are reserving for more than one person, please add each one to your cart individually so that you can fill out the accompanying reservation form once for each traveller.
In order to reserve your spot, you must make a deposit of $50 per person (CAD) by December 15, 2018, or, before all spots have been filled. The trip is limited to 10 travellers in addition to the two trip leaders.
proposed trip itinerary
The final itinerary will depend on group size and availability of accommodations and tour guides. In particular, the details of the tours in Berlin will be finalized based on the number of guests arriving on May 4th vs. May 6th. To do all of the sites in Berlin on one day is quite exhausting and it would be best to be able to split them over at least two days. It is also important to factor in recovering from jet lag, as you will likely fly through the night and arrive in Berlin around noon or early in the afternoon. Although that technically provides an afternoon of touring, it is one where you feel mostly like a zombie and will not want to take in any of the very meaningful or ‘heavy’ sites.
May 3, 2019 - Depart Canada
May 4, 2019 - Arrive in Berlin
May 5, 2019 - Tour Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp / Alternate Departure Date
May 6, 2019 - Tour Berlin / Alternate Arrival date
May 7, 2019 - Tour Berlin (Topography of Terror, Jewish Museum, Location of Hitler’s Bunker, Various Memorials, Berlin Wall)
May 8, 2019 - Visit Wannsee (location of the Wannsee conference where the ‘Final Solution’ was decided upon)
May 9, 2019 - Fly to Krakow / Tour Krakow Old Town / Free Time
May 10, 2019 - Tour Krakow / Jewish Areas / Schindler’s Factory / Drive to Auschwitz / Tour town of Oświęcim (depending on arrival time)
May 11, 2019 - Auschwitz Study Tour Day 1: Visit Auschwitz 1
May 12, 2019 - Auschwitz Study Tour Day 2: Visit Auschwitz 2 & Labyrinth art display
May 13, 2019 - Auschwitz Study Tour Day 3: Visit individual exhibitions at Auschwitz 1 / Drive to Lublin
May 14, 2019 - Tour Majdanek Concentration Camp / Return to Krakow / Option to Leave Trip Here
May 15, 2019 - Arrive in Prague / Tour of Prague City / Old Town / Jewish Area & Synagogues
May 16, 2019 - Day trip to Terezin / End of Organized Trip
where will we sleep? what will we eat?
Final accommodation arrangements will depend on the specific people who sign up for the trip. In Berlin we will likely stay at an AirBNB (a house or condo with multiple rooms, but often multiple beds in one room). In Krakow we will stay at the Best Western Plus, Old Town. The trip costs have been estimated based on 2 people to a room. In Oświęcim, we will stay at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer. The rooms here are simple but clean. I have reserved mostly twin rooms, but there are also rooms that have 6 single beds which may be available and would reduce costs further. Apartments are available at a higher cost and are suitable for couples or non-student travellers. Food is included at the Centre (and is very good, healthy and plentiful!). For our visit to Lublin we will either stay at a hotel in Lublin or in Krakow. In Prague, I recommend AirBNBs and there are many to choose from. The group would be divided based on budget preferences and we would find an appropriate mix of AirBNBs within close proximity to each other. All would be located on the Castle side of the river near the Charles Bridge. With the exception of our time in Oświęcim, our meals will be eaten in restaurants within the various cities, and you’ll most often be able to choose where to eat on your own. Other options would include cooking in an AirBNB or ordering in a meal. Some meals will take place together. For example, at the Wannsee House, there is a cafeteria where you place your order in the morning and then eat at lunch. The food is quite good and is factored into the cost. During our tour of Berlin, we will have lunch at the Jewish Museum’s cafe, which again offers a variety of options, all of which are quite delicious! In Krakow, we’ll be staying right near the Old Town centre, which is an area with many different restaurants to choose from. Similarly, in Prague, restaurants are not hard to find and a list of recommended restaurants at various price points will be provided.
Recommended readings & viewings
Below you will find a selection of books and movies about World War II and the Holocaust. Some of these provide an overview of events, others focus on a specific individual's story, while others tackle larger thematic issues. It would take a lifetime to read all that has been written about WW2 and the Holocaust, and we only have one semester (plus the Summer if you get a head start). Pick and choose from what you find below, but try to pick at least one autobiography, one thematic/bigger issue piece, and one overview of events. Although the list is long, you will find that many of the books are "quick reads" - such as Night, which can be read in an hour or two. Many of the books are also available in Audio format through Audible or iTunes. The trip will be significantly more meaningful if you’ve done some prior preparation to be familiar with the general course of events.