Religion and Regime

There are few places on earth where the horrors and hardships of World War II (1939-1945) are learned harder than in Krakow and the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp.

In this sobering yet unforgettably important CAS Trip, we visit Auschwitz and discover the shocking truth of the extermination camp in which over 1 million people were murdered at the command of Hitler’s Third Reich.

We search deep and ask ourselves how and why the atrocities of the holocaust were allowed to happen, exploring the film and set of Oscar-winning movie Schindler’s List as well as the intricate story of Krakow during the conflict,

Religion and Regime

All our themes and activities are 100% flexible and can be mixed and matched to suit your group.

Day 1

  • Transport terminal pick-up by your dedicated CAS Trips tour guide
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Walking tour: Krakow by night –  A fascinating introduction to the unique history and culture of Poland’s second city, through the UNESCO listed Old Town by night
  • Evening Meal – Traditional Polish cuisine in an authentic local restaurant.
  • Reflections Challenge – An introduction to the CAS Trips Network and Reflections Centre with personal student and teacher logins, online itineraries and amazing group sharing capabilities.

Day 2

  • Your CAS Trips tour guide hotel pick-up
  • Walking tour: Pope John Paul II – The Polish are one of the most devout Catholic nations in Europe. We take a tour of Krakow and see how religion has affected it’s history as well as learning about Krakow’s most famous Catholic, Pope John Paul II.
  • Lunch
  • Wall of Kindness Challenge – In co-operation with AEGEE – Europe’s largest interdisciplinary youth organisation – students, in small groups, will discuss, design and build a temporary ‘wall of kindness’ – a spontaneous charity initiative originating in Iran which involves the creative production of a wall decorated with hooks, hangers and messages to encourage locals to leave donations of clothing, food etc for those in need to collect. The temporary walls will be wheeled out into different areas of the city for 24 hours.
  • Evening Meal 
  • Schindler’s List film screening –  Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List tells the tale of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi party member, who used his pull within the party and his own financial resources to save the lives of over 1000 Jews by recruiting them to work in his factory in Krakow.
    We watch the motion picture, within walking distance of the original setting to gain perspective for the visits to Schindler’s factory and Auschwitz later in the trip.

Day 3 

  • Your CAS Trips guide hotel pick-up
  • Schindler’s Factory – Following on from the previous evening’s screening, we visit Oscar Schindler’s Factory in Krakow – home to a world-class exhibit which documents the facts and personal life of the protagonist, his work and the turbulence of Krakow during World War II.
  • Lunch
  • Jewish Krakow – The modern day Krakovian districts of Kazimierz and Podgórze are filled with charming tree-lined streets and cafes but they were also once home to the Jewish ghetto. But it is not only tragedy that prevailed here as you will hear of the uplifting and heart-warming stories of courage, community, love and perseverance that will challenge prejudice and stereotype. 
  • Evening Meal

Day 4

  • Your CAS Trips guide hotel pick-up
  • Day Trip: Auschwitz-Birkenau – Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the gravest mass murder in the history of humanity. In a private excursion, we visit the two part memorial where 1.1 million men, women and children perished in the holocaust.
  • Lunch
  • Meet Holocaust survivors – In a once in a lifetime experience in co-operation with the Galicia Jewish Museum,  students will have the opportunity to meet with holocaust survivors. In a pre-prepared CAS activity, students will discuss, plan and create a friendly atmosphere for the guests to allow them to feel comfortable enough to tell their deeply emotional stories. The meetings are translated by employees of the museum who are experienced in working with survivors and have a background on the subject, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A‘s from the group.

Day 5

  • Free time for souvenir shopping 
  • Your CAS Trips tour guide and bus driver hotel pick-up and departure terminal drop-off

*itineraries are illustrative and can be altered to your specific academic needs or time constraints.