Skip navigation

CMU students to volunteer at historic concentration camp over winter break

During winter break, 11 CMU students will volunteer at Auschwitz concentration camps.

Contact: CMU News

During winter break, 11 Central Michigan University students will volunteer at Auschwitz, the largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps where more than 960,000 Jews were killed.

The students will travel to Germany and Poland through CMU’s Alternative Break program for 15 days to learn about the Holocaust by visiting well-known sites, including the Berlin Wall, Postdamer Platz, the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorial. During the trip, the students will serve as volunteers at Auschwitz to help maintain the site’s grounds and memorials.

“I am so looking forward to being immersed in a new culture and learning about the Holocaust and Auschwitz from a first-hand experience,” said CMU senior Ricky Hohn of Allen Park, a student site leader for the break.

The group also will visit Oskar Schindler’s buildings in Krakow, Poland, in which approximately 1,000 Jews took refuge from the Nazis.

“This trip has less hands-on volunteerism than other Alternative Breaks,” said senior Arianna Svestka of Adrian. “It’s more about issue education so we can bring back what we learn and share it with others.”

The site leaders have acted as liaisons to Amizade, the global service-learning organization planning the trip for the group. Prior to departure, Svestka said they spent a lot of time planning activities to ensure the participants bond as a group.

“Because it is such an emotional trip, we want to establish relationships and friendships before we leave,” Svestka said.

CMU’s Alternative Breaks program is offered through the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center. Students can pick a service experience dedicated to various social issues, such as children’s health care, historical preservation and food justice.

The university’s Alternative Breaks program is ranked fourth nationally for the number of students participating in the trips, with 415 participants last year.

Photo Associator

Article Photo Title

Photo Title required.

Photo for News Home

Select File
Use This One

Photo for News Feeds

Select File
Use This One