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CANDLES Holocaust Museum Auschwitz Trip Workshop

Audience at CANDLES Holocaust MuseumThe CANDLES Holocaust Museum of Terre Haute, Indiana is sponsoring and coordinating a trip to Auschwitz in late January 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. On the afternoon of January 14, 2010, around forty participants in the trip attended a pre-departure workshop conducted by scholars from Indiana University-Bloomington. The workshop covered the history of Jewish-Polish relations before and after the Holocaust, a guide to Krakow, and a crash course in survival Polish.


Maria Bucur (Moderator) is John W. Hill Chair of European History and Director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her research and teaching focuses on East European history, with a special interest in Romania. She has published several books, among them Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania (2002) and Heroes and Victims: Remembering War in Twentieth Century Romania (2009), as well as essays on eugenics, philanthropy, the cultural history of the Great War, commemorations of World War II, and gender and war.

Benjamin Thorne explains the map of Poland M. Benjamin Thorne (Jewish-Polish Relations Before and After the Holocaust) is a PhD candidate in East European history at Indiana University-Bloomington. During the 2008-2009 academic year he spent five months as the Raul Hilberg Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’ Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, followed by nine months of dissertation research in Romania with funding from Fulbright-Hays and the Social Science Research Council. A former Editorial Assistant for the American Historical Review, Ben has presented his work at numerous international, national, and regional conferences.

 Survival Polish LessonIwona Dembowska-Wosik (Guide to Krakow, Survival Polish) is a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in Polish at Indiana-University-Bloomington. Born and educated in Poland, she is a specialist in the teaching of Polish and English language to foreigners.

The workshop was sponsored and coordinated by the Russian and East European Institute, the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program, the Melvin and Betty Cohn Jewish Studies Institute, and the Center for West European Studies (all of Indiana University-Bloomington)
Podcasts and PowerPoint files for the various components of the workshop can be found below.

Students will be posting thoughts and photos of their experiences while they are in Poland at

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Podcast of Talk

  • Introduction by Maria Bucur (.mp3, 5:37, 987 KB)
  • Jewish-Polish Relations Before and After the Holocaust by M. Benjamin Thorne (.mp3, 50:57, 8.74 MB)
  • Survival Polish Lesson by Iwona Dembowska-Wosik (.mp3, 42:35, 7.31 MB)