University of California - Santa Barbara
Education in Poland
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
The barbed wire fence was still wet from the morning dew. I peered across the broad fields and felt the pang of sadness, thinking about the countless souls buried before me. I stood within the haunting gas chambers and touched the scratch marks left on the walls as the Jews who lived before me took their last breaths…
I had learned about the Holocaust my entire life, having attended a Jewish school for over ten years. However, I never truly appreciated the magnitude and loss of the Holocaust until I visited Poland this summer. Visiting concentration camps and mass graves as part of a Jewish youth trip was the most impactful experiential learning I have experienced. Our guide shared intimate stories about the victims, as well as the survivors. Visiting the camps forced me to really visualize the Holocaust happening around me, and World War II took on a very different meaning.
Following our experience in Poland, we traveled to Israel where we heard from a Holocaust survivor about how she lived through World War II. In Israel, we also learned about the current state of conflict in the country: we had sessions with an Israeli advocacy organization, and met two Israeli settlers and a Palestinian from the West Bank. Prior to my trip,...
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