Part VI- Essays
Please answer the following two questions in essay format. Each essay should be 750 words or less.
1) Why are you applying to the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellows Program? Please include what you feel you can offer to the Fellows Program, as well as what you hope to gain from it. Make sure to describe your previous experience with Holocaust or genocide studies, relevant area studies, or issues of memory and narrative. Please also consider how your previous experience would affect your fellowship and how you would use the experience of the program in your future studies and endeavors.
2) For the second essay, please choose one of the following statements to use as the basis of a reflective essay. Please indicate at the top of your essay which statement you are writing about.
“…The purpose of testimony is no longer to obtain knowledge. Time has passed, and the historian does not trust a memory in which the past has begun to blur and which has been enriched by numerous images since the survivor’s return to freedom. The mission that has devolved to testimony is no longer to bear witness to inadequately known events, but rather to keep them before our eyes. Testimony is to be a means of transmission to future generations.” – Wieviorka, Annette. The Era of the Witness. Ithaca, 2006. pg. 24.
“On the one hand, we’re reminded that it was the state’s initial move to preserve these ruins – its will to remember – that turned sites of historical destruction into ‘places of memory’. On the other hand, we find that these sites of memory begin to assume lives of their own, often as resistant to official memory as they are emblematic of it. In some cases, memorials created in the image of a state’s ideals actually turn around to recast national ideals in the memorial’s image. Later generations visit memorials under new circumstances and invest them with new meanings. The result is an evolution in the memorial’s significance, generated in the new times and company in which it finds itself.” - Young, James. The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning. New Haven, 1994. pg. 120
"Despite the rise of Auschwitz as a symbol of the Holocaust generally, the story of the town escaped public notice. Having a community attached to the nearby death camp might suggest a normality and stability that did not fit into the consciousness of the Holocaust as an aberrant event. For many writers on the Holocaust, camps did not belong in towns; they were treated as terror zones outside any moral community set historically in place..." — Bronner, Simon. "Inventing and Invoking Tradition in Holocaust Memorials," in New Directions in Folklore, Issue 4:2 October, 2000.
"The standards of a civilized state, the state with ages-old traditions of tolerance and amicable coexistence of nations and religions should be binding on its citizens... We have become aware of the responsibility for our attitude towards the dark pages in our history. We have understood that bad service is done to the nation by those who are impelling to renounce that past. Such attitude leads to a moral self-destruction." — Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, July 10, 2001, Jedwabne, Poland