HOMEEDUCATIONEVENTSFellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Information on FASPE

FASPEFASPE is an innovative program for students in professional schools designed to address contemporary ethical issues through a unique historical context. The Fellowships provide law, medical, seminary, journalism, and business students a structured program of study that initially focuses on the role of their chosen professions in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and uses that historic focus as a framework for the consideration of contemporary ethical issues. The various disciplines will explore topics such as The Rule of Law vs. "Lawlessness"; The Role and Limits of Bioethics, The Goals of Morality in the Face of Evil, The Responsibility to Report, and Ethical Limitations on Profit-Seeking. FASPE is under the auspices of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Ten to fifteen students from each profession are chosen as Fellows each year through a competitive process that draws applicants from professional schools across the country. Following an introductory session in New York, each group of Fellows travels to Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim (Auschwitz). In Germany and Poland, the in situ program looks at the role of the profession in the development and implementation of policies and programs that led to the Holocaust. FASPE is predicated upon both the potent symbolism of Auschwitz and the Fellows' personal experience while in Germany and Poland to help the Fellows within each profession explore the power and potential of their profession along with the potential challenges they will face as professionals.

FASPE programs cover all student expenses, including food, travel, and lodging. Programs will be offered in 2010 to students attending schools of law and medicine; programs for the other professions will begin in 2011.

The two-week program has the following structure:

  • The group gathers at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York for a brief orientation that includes visiting the Museum's exhibits, meeting with Holocaust survivors, and working with FASPE staff and guest scholars.
  • The first leg of the European portion is in Berlin, where the Fellows will have the opportunity to study the city's historical and cultural sites, and also enjoy the vibrant social life of modern Berlin. Educational workshops will take place at the House of the Wannsee Conference, the site where, in 1942, representatives of State and Nazi Party agencies convened to discuss and coordinate plans for the "Final Solution."
  • The Fellows then travel to Krakow, Poland, where they will explore the city's rich Jewish, Catholic, and Polish history. The Fellows will meet with Righteous among the Nations (rescuers) before departing for Oświęcim, the town the Germans called Auschwitz, where they will tour Auschwitz-Birkenau and work with the distinguished educational staff at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
  • Back in Krakow for the final several days, the Fellows will focus exclusively on contemporary ethical issues facing their profession. Sessions will take place at Jagiellonian University, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities.

FASPE Timeline

  • March 2008
    Initial FASPE program concept meeting with David Marwell and Ivy Barsky of the Museum of Jewish Heritage and founder David Goldman
  • June 2008
    First Steering Committee meeting is held at MJH - FASPE name and formal partnership with MJH as administrator and parent organization established
  • November 2008
    Curriculum teams begin work at Yale Law School and Yale Medical School
  • January 2009
    Steering Committee visits program partners House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin and Jagiellonian University in Krakow and tours Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • March 2009
    Law and medical student curriculum teams travel to New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim for Pilot Program
    Museum of Jewish Heritage sends e-bulletin announcing FASPE as a new initiative
  • August 2009
    Applications for FASPE for Law and Medical Students become available
    Press release announcing FASPE applications released
  • December 2009
    Applications due for summer 2010 programs
  • January 2010
    Accepted professional school students announced
  • June 2010
    Inaugural FASPE for law and medical students takes place in New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim
  • July 2010
    Journalism curriculum team travels to New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim for Pilot Program led by Prof. Ari Goldman of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
    Inaugural FSAPE for Seminary Students travels takes place in New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim
  • December 2010
    Applications due for summer 2011 programs
  • February 2011
    Accepted students announced
  • Spring 2011
    Pilot for Business program in New York, Berlin, and Poland
  • Summer 2011
    FASPE for Law, Medical, Journalism, and Seminary students take place in New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Oświęcim

FASPE ITF Grant Press Release