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American Service Academies Program - Auschwitz/Holocaust Studies IAD
What we at West Point call the Auschwitz IAD is known by its sponsors, the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, as the American Service Academy Program. This program, co-sponsored by English, Social Sciences, & History, but run entirely by the professional staff of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AJCF), is one of the Dean's summer priorities and is open to all cadets, regardless of major. The Auschwitz AIAD works as follows:
  • The Academy selects four cadets who join four USNA midshipmen, four USAFA cadets, and two Coast Guard cadets for an intensive 16 day study of the Holocaust during the first summer block. The cadets spend a short time in New York and Washington and then nearly two weeks in various locations in Poland. The bulk of cadet time in Poland is spent in Krakow and Oświęcim/Auschwitz. The poignancy of this setting not challenges cadets to understand what can happen in the absence of open and democratic governing institutions — when evil is given free reign, when fear overpowers ethics, and when democratic ideals are not defended.
  • In the US and in Poland, cadets meet with scholars, ambassadors and senior government officials, Holocaust survivors, "Righteous among the Nations," and foreign cadets.
  • The AJCF has specifically designed program to allow cadets and midshipmen to consider complex moral and ethical questions that stem from the Holocaust and are directly related to the military profession. Several of the Academy's past participants have described the program as "life-changing" and "the most rewarding personal and academic experience I have had...at West Point."
  • Others have spoken particularly of the experience as a "professional and personal windfall" that "provided more than I could have ever expected." Over the last five years alone, the ASAP program has produced two Marshall and Rotary Scholars. If you are interested in one of the most ethically, intellectually, professionally and emotionally challenging and inspiring programs we offer, this opportunity is for you.
The POCs for the program are Dr. David Frey and LTC Ray Hrinko (fall 2012) in the History Department. They may be contacted via email at david.frey@usma.edu or by phone via the History Department’s International Division secretary, Yvette O’Neal, at x2068. The application deadline is generally the last week of October. Please view the Auschwitz Jewish Center flyer for general information, visit the ACJF website for greater detail, or contact the program organizer, Ms. Shiri Sandler, at 646.437.4276 or ssandler@mjhnyc.org. The application form, which involves several short essays and a recommendation, is electronic and will be posted on the AJC website by early September.