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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Przemyslaw Chojnowski
EURO 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Class description

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

Recommended preparation

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Przemyslaw Chojnowski
Date: 01/02/2010