Daily Dispatches

Day #1: Remembering Isn’t Inevitable.

By Laura Howells The central institutions of Nazi persecution — the leadership of the SS, the Gestapo, and eventually the Reich Security Main Office — were located on these grounds in central Berlin between 1933 and 1945. For four decades, there was a gaping wound in the middle of Berlin.The site of former SS and Gestapo headquarters was, and […]

Day #2: The New Normal

  By Kate Harloe We came to Europe in part to study the past, but it’s been hard to stay away from the present — especially for the journalism fellows. In the roughly four months that President Trump has been in office, he’s called the news media the “enemy of the American people.” He has repeatedly called factual journalism “fake.” He’s […]

Day #5: The Photography of Terror

By Renee Gross As I walked around the train tracks, where Berlin Jews were transferred to ghettos and concentration camps, I reached for my phone to take photographs. I wasn’t sure why. I worried that I just wanted something to occupy my hands and distract me from my feelings. Appropriate etiquette for interacting with Holocaust […]

Day #6: The Death Camp Next Door, Confronting Poland’s View of the Holocaust

By Jacques Gallant At Auschwitz I, there’s a house just steps away from the gas chamber that was used to murder prisoners. Someone still lives in it. I was struck by the fact that there are people in Poland who still reside right next door to camps where over a million Jews were killed. Enter […]

Day #7: ‘The data is not enough’

By Amanda McGowan “The data is not enough”: That is how neuroscientist Tali Sharot describes the psychology of changing minds. Data by itself, she says, cannot always sway people — no matter how clear or definitive it is. But when emotion is introduced, when storytelling is introduced, it can drive people to act. I found myself thinking about this […]

Day #8: A Field at Auschwitz-Birkenau

By Sonner Kehrt Here is a people who are gone. Here is the machinery of their disappearance, the strange mundanity of it, the train schedules and the conferences and the signatures of the bureaucrats. That is how you destroy a people in a world that is modern: You make sure the trains run on time, […]

Day #10: Back to Basics

By Daina Beth Solomon For generations, reporters have aimed to be the watchdogs of government and society, striving to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” in service of the public good. These values have been considered journalism’s role for so long that they often go unquestioned, without clarification, skepticism, or discussion. Yet, every conversation […]

Day #11: On Optional Free Time in Birkenau or Auschwitz

By Shira Telushkin We’re sitting around a table in Oswiecim, arguing over whether a journalist should or should not change the grammar of a quote. Would our audience know that “hooping on a Sunday” means playing basketball? Should we preserve different dialects and norms of speaking, as a matter of principle? What about on radio? […]