Cold War Staff Ride
OIC: MAJ Greg Tomlin and MAJ Lukas Frank
The Department of History will conduct a Cold War Staff Ride to gain an appreciation for the general narrative and conduct of the Cold War in Europe, its effects on the people of Eastern Europe, and the nature of resistance to Soviet influence and governance in Eastern Europe. This staff ride will also serve to immerse cadets in the cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. Cadets selected for this staff ride will study historical accounts, professional articles, select books, and relevant movies prior to departure as a means of better appreciating the history of the Cold War in Eastern Europe. Each cadet will be expected to become an expert in one to two topics to be covered during the staff ride and to act as a discussion leader for his or her peers during the trip. We anticipate sending two faculty members and six cadets on the staff in the last week of May and first week of June 2011.
We have broken the traveling Staff Ride into four phases.
The first phase will take place in Berlin and will use the German capital as a microcosm for the final phases of WWII and the duration of the Cold War. We will investigate how the Cold War and Soviet occupation effected the remembrance of World War II and the Holocaust. We will then look at how Berlin developed as a divided city during the Cold War and conclude with a look at the East German security state and how the East German Secret Police (Stasi) sought to maintain control of East Germany.
The second phase will take place in and around Prague in the Czech Republic and will focus on life behind the Iron Curtain. On our trip from Berlin to Prague, we will stop at the Terezin Concentration Camp, a World War II and Cold War era political prison. While in Prague we will visit the Museum of Communism and other sites to help understand how the people of Czechoslovakia lived during the Cold War. Leaving Prague, we will stop in some smaller towns and agricultural communes to understand the lasting influence of life behind the Iron Curtain.
The third phase of our trip will take us to Budapest, Hungary (via Vienna where we will spend one night). During our time in Budapest, we will focus on the theme of resistance through a study of the failed 1956 Revolution. We will follow the movements of the student revolutionaries, the Hungarian government, and the Soviet occupational army. During a visit to Statue Park and the Terror House, we will seek to determine how this history of uprising has influenced Hungary’s remembrance of the Cold War.
The fourth phase of this trip will return the group to Berlin via Salzburg, Austria and Munich, Germany. The focus will be on cultural immersion as well as some of the lasting effects of the Cold War in Central Europe. This final phase will also allow us to discuss the role of the U.S. Army in West Germany during the Cold War.
Last Years Itinerary:
24 May: Fly from Newark to Berlin
25 May: Land in Berlin; End of WWII Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and Treptow Park
26 May: Beginning of the Cold War: Sachsenhausen, Potsdam
27 May: Mid-Cold War Bike Tour: Berlin Wall, Check Point Charlie
28 May: Mature Cold War: Stasi HQ and Stasi Prison
29 May: Travel from Berlin to Prague: Terezin Prison
30 May: Life Behind the Curtain Day 1: Museum of Communism, Prague Spring 1968
31 May: Travel from Prague to Vienna, Life Behind the Curtain Day 2 Collective Farming
1 June: Vienna to Budapest: Resistance Day 1, Statue Park
2 June: Resistance Day 2: 1956 Uprising Staff Ride
3 June: Resistance Day 3: 1956 Uprising cont., Budapest tour
4 June: Travel from Budapest to Munich via Salzburg
5 June: Travel from Munich to Berlin via Bayreuth
6 June: Fly from Berlin to Newark
Download and complete the Cold War Staff Ride Application. You must also submit a letter of recommendation from a history instructor. Ask your instructor to send the recommendation by email directly to the OIC. Submit your application to MAJ Tomlin by email NLT 1600 22 November 2009.