Human Rights in Poland (Winter 2017)

SMU Adventures

Originally Posted: January 5, 2018

Thirty-five members of the SMU community took a study tour of Holocaust sites in Poland Dec. 18-30. Led by SMU Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin, the group visited cities and death camps throughout Poland, where, during World War II, some 5,000,000 people were murdered during the Nazi, Germany, occupation.

Here are some of the SMU adventure blogs from the trip:

A wish for ‘the one storm pure enough to cleanse the air’

At the memorial for the victims of the Nazi death camp Chelmno, SMU political science/international studies major Ryan C. ’18 read Lana Hechtman Ayers’ poem “Chelmno” – in which Ayers notes the wait “for the one storm pure enough to cleanse the air, soak through, make everything clear and plump with a love that is impervious to flame …”

How ethical are we?

From Ruhi D., How ethical are we actually? This past semester I took a business ethics class where the last topic we discussed had to do with overconfidence of human morality. We like to think of ourselves as beings, that when placed in a difficult situation, would always take the high road. However this is not necessarily the case. In this unit we discussed two types of morality gauges. The first theory explored how we are as ethical as our inner moral compass. Even if you don’t take action on something, as long as you believe it is wrong or feel the wrongness of the situation you are considered an ethical person.

‘My thoughts lack all reason, my emotions all feeling’

In memory of the nearly 300,000 Holocaust victims killed at the Nazi-run extermination camp Chelmno, SMU Dedman College senior Sam W. read this powerful passage from The Book of Disquiet, written by anti-fascist/-communist Portuguese poet Fernando Passoa (1888-1935)

‘In the dawn of a better world, I do believe’

For the “Holocaust Poland” memorial at Krepiec Forest, SMU Dedman Law student Alexa N. joined SMU Perkins Theology student Madison G. in reading a poem by Holocaust survivor Alexander Kimel (who, after escaping the Rohatyn ghetto in western Ukraine, hid in surrounding forests):

It all counts

From Carolyn I.: Every life matters…..every life counts. Remember it could have been you or your family Stand up for peace not war Stand up for equality not separation Stand up for love for every hurt against one is against all.

Christmas at Gdańsk

From Carolyn I.: It is still beautiful in Poland with all the sad stories…Christmas is still beautiful. I enjoyed the snow I didn’t have in Texas!


By | 2018-01-08T18:01:02+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Embrey Human Rights Events, Events, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Human Rights in Poland (Winter 2017)