Drexel Spring Break in Germany & Czech Republic: Legacies of Nazi-era Policing
Take a walk through Munich to witness the birthplace of the Nazi party and the dawn of the Third Reich. Visit the public square that erupted with gunfire on 9 November 1923 when Adolph Hitler and his Sturmabteilung (SA) soldiers fought the Bavarian State Police in a failed coup to overthrow the Weimar Republic. Reflect on Munich’s bleakest hour at the Dachau Memorial – Germany’s first, and among most brutal, concentration camps. Then see for yourself how this resilient city emerged from darkness to become one of Post-War Europe’s most vibrant, progressive, and livable cities while preserving the best of its Bavarian traditions and heritage. And yet, close inspection will show where the remnants of its Nazi past survive in surprisingly public places.
Next, travel to the medieval city of Nuremberg to experience the Nazi Party Rally Grounds and the never-fully-completed Congress Hall. Learn why Nuremberg was so important to the Third Reich’s efforts to create and proffer the myth of Volksgemeinschaft, or the ”People’s Community;” and explore how that folk mythology drove Hitler to impose a policing system of total control over the German population. Then visit Courtroom 600 – the site of the Nuremberg Trials – to see for yourself where the world held Nazi Germany accountable for its atrocities during WWII.
Continue on to Prague — today regarded as the jewel of East Central Europe — to explore a city that was granted “protectorate” status by Germany during the war. Then see through visits to places called Terezin and Lidice what it meant to be protected by the Reich, and how the Gestapo and SS inflicted their brutal policing practices outside their home country and mostly beyond the reach of the Red Cross. The story of Prague during the mid- to late-Twentieth Century is among the most poignant: Controlled by the Nazis during the war – and savaged in particular by SS commander Reinhard Heydrich, aka, The Bucher of Prague – only to be "liberated" by the Russians in 1945 and made a “protectorate” (yet again) of the Soviet Union. The city and people of Prague endured political and social oppression from the day they saw the Nazis arrive in 1939 to the night they threw the Soviets out in 1989.
This Intensive Course Abroad focuses on the development and maintenance of the Nazi police system in Germany and the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) from 1934-1945. Students will learn that through legislation, terror, violence, and the use of concentration camps, the Nazi Regime established one of the most complete, far-reaching, and brutal systems of non-democratic social control in human history; and yet, we shall also see through our daily experiences with people, trains, restaurants, and cultural sites that Munich, Nuremberg, and Prague cannot be defined by their Nazi pasts or experiences. They exist today as cultural hubs that value the preservation of history while embracing the future as global heritage cities. Throughout our European travels, we approach each experience with one overriding question: Could this happen in the United States Today?
For a visual taste of this program, watch this program video from Spring Break 2014.
Program Highlights Include:
(Review 2018 Itinerary for full schedule)
Munich (and surrounding area):
- Haufbrau House
- Bavarian State Police Headquarters
- Munich International School
- Dachaue Memorial Site (i.e., the former Concentration Camp)
- Learning to navigate the Munich subway system
- Deutches Museum (optional)
- Allianz Arena (home of Bayern Munich Football Club) (optional)
- Nazi Party Rally Grounds
- Documentation Center
- Memorium Nuremberg Trials (Courtroom 600 – site of the Nuremberg Trials)
Prague (and northern Bohemia):
- Prague Old Town Square
- Theresienstadt (former concentration camp in Terezin)
- Vilage of Lidice
- Lety (former) concentration camp
- Learning to navigate the Prague tram (streetcar) system
- Museum of Communism
- KGB Museum
- Museum of Military Resistance (optional)
- Prague Castle and Cathedral (optional)
Students will be registered for CJS T280 The Legacies of Nazi-era Policing and Soviet-era Justice, a 3 credit course as part of their fall term. Students must leave space for this 3 credits in their fall term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. The course credit for this program is not optional. There are no pre-requisites for this class.
Click to view the CJS380-Inter Field Exp Syllabus for 2016. The majority of our contact hours will come from (1) required Pre-Departure Meeting #2 (see below), (2) a concise playlist of online videos that students will watch on their own any time before departure, and (3) and the study abroad course itself; so the online course in the spring will mostly involve a series of written reflection assignments that ask students to synthesize their travel experiences with assigned academic materials to make meaning from their observations while on tour. Moreover, as part of the course, students must maintain a travel log (either electronically or in written form), which they will submit as an assignment for the CJS380 course. The Blackboard site for the CJS380 course will be created at the start of the winter term, and students can begin accessing it then in order to begin reviewing the materials.
This program is led by Professor Dr. Robert J. Kane, Department Head of Drexel’s Department of Criminology and Justice Studies. Dr. Kane’s expertise include democratic policing, police authority & accountability, and comparative justice systems.
Prior to departure, students are required to attend an introduction/preparatory session during summer term. Details TBD.
Arrival Date: September 5, 2018
Departure Date: September 14, 2018*
*Incoming Freshmen will return to Drexel's Welcome Week, which begins Saturday Sept. 15, 2018.
Review the 2018 ICA Program Itinerary for a full schedule of activities.
Required Pre-Departure Meetings
Prior to departure, students are required to attend two pre-departure during winter term, which will cover the items below. Both required meetings will be held on the Drexel campus in the early evening, and over food and beverages.
Pre-departure meeting #1: This meeting will provide students with initial academic background needed for the trip. Prof. Kane will give brief histories of Germany and the Czech Republic, and then discuss their relationship to one another during the lead up to WWII and beyond. He will also discuss how the Nazi police system controlled people within their home area of Germany, as well as in an occupied territory abroad (i.e., what was then, Czechoslovakia).This meeting fulfills contact hours for the CJS380 study abroad course.
Pre-departure meeting #2: Informational orientation that will cover the logistics of group travel (accessing money, cell phones abroad, safety, and the Rule of Three). Students will download Groupme to their mobile devices, which Prof. Kane will use to create a virtual group that will contain the entire itinerary. Finally, he will introduce the concept of maintaining a travel journal and will demonstrate a free travel journal app that works great across several mobile operating systems.
Due May 1st (extended to May 15th)- $500 Advanced Payment + $25 application fee
Due July 1st - $630 Final Payment
All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.
*This program fee has been generously subsidized by the Dept. of Criminology and Justice Studies to reduce costs to students!
Included in Program Fee:
- Hotel accommodations in Munich, Nuremberg, and Prague
- All ground transportation overseas including subways, trains, buses, and airport transfers
- ICE train from Munich to Nuremberg
- Charter bus from Nuremberg to Prague
- Breakfast daily
- Welcome dinner (first night in Munich)
- Closing dinner (final night in Prague)
- A few meals during the trip
- Admission to cultural heritage sites and museums
- On Call emergency evacuation insurance
Not Included in Program Fee:
- Round trip airfare ($1300)
- Lunches and most dinners ($300)
- Passport ($135)
- Spending Money ($150)
- Non-US citizens may be required to apply for a visa
- Students will be provided a suggested flight itinerary with arrival into Munich and departure from Prague.
- US Citizens are not required to obtain a visa. Other nationalities should confirm on the German and Czech Embassy websites if a visa is required.