I just finished up my first week at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, working with the University Programs division. I also spent my second week in Washington D.C., exploring the city and getting very well acquainted with the Metro.
This week at the museum, we hosted 24 university professors from around the U.S. as well as Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. They are here for the Silberman Seminar which is a chance for them to catch up on the latest scholarly work on the Holocaust and learn from one of the most respected Holocaust scholars, Christopher Browning. It’s been a real treat to sit in on a room full of professors who are trying to figure out how to structure their Holocaust courses, trying to find a balance of primary sources, pictures, films, and secondary sources. It felt like the veil was being lifted on the secret lives of professors. I enjoyed it!
This internship is exciting to me because I hope to gain a greater understanding of the Holocaust and genocide in general. I am here not only as a history buff, but also as someone who truly believes in the idea that the only way we can prevent another terrible genocide is by learning about the greatest one in the history of mankind. I want to learn more about contemporary genocides, like those that occurred in Rwanda and Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. Like I mentioned in my last post, I also hope to explore the themes of complicity and bystanders during Nazi Germany. I will write a research paper on a topic pertaining to those themes during my time at the museum. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many fantastic resources, I can’t wait to explore the archives. The other goal I have for my internship is to understand how to apply the knowledge I gain on the Holocaust in modern life. How does the museum empower others to educate and spread its message? I am looking forward to digging deeply into a topic this summer. I have already learned so much this week.
D.C. is a fantastic city to live in, I am so happy to be here this summer! More stories to come…