Shoah/ Holocaust in Polish Documentary Film
The course objective is to reveal the little known chapters of Polish history referring to the Holocaust. The class will view documentaries featuring the witnesses of the genocide as well as survivors and heroes of the Second World War. The class will also discuss the perspectives and testimonies of people from three different groups. The first group includes people such as Marek Edelman, who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto and participated in the April 1943 Jewish Uprising. The second group represents members of the Zegota, the only organization founded specifically for the rescue of Jews during the Nazi rule in Europe. One of the last leaving representatives of the Zegota (Council for Aid to the Jews) is Władysław Bartoszewski. Another noteworthy perspective belongs to Irena Sendler, also Zegota member and leader of 10 woman team who rescued 2500 Jewish children. The third group encompasses Poles (e.g., Jan Karski) who tried to stop the Holocaust by reporting Nazi atrocities to the Allies. Similar testimony reveals the heroic life of Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to be imprisoned at Auschwitz in order to organize a resistance movement within the camp with the ultimate goal of liberation.
Student learning goals
Better understanding of historical processes in Central Europe
General method of instruction
Lecture, disscussion, watching films, reading historical and literary texts
Knowledge of history of Central East Europe is welcomed
Class assignments and grading
Attendance, preparation for readings and active participation in class discussions are essential and constitute 50% of your final grade.
Oral presentation: each student has to prepare and present one or two oral presentations on a topic/ author/ other issue, or readings selected by the student in connection with his/ her topic in a paper. Each presentation should take about 20 minutes. (5% of final grade)
Written assignments: One short assignment (2-3 pages) (15 % of final grade) on one of the written texts or watched films. Final assignment (approx. 5-7 pages) on a topic of your choice to be completed on March 15 respectively. The assignment is 30% of final grade. The model of the short assignment will require you to write a longer paper.