remember those posters you saw in elementary school regarding drugs?

this is your brain: (regular egg)
this is your brain on drugs: (egg in a skillet)

i think they should have a third category

this is your brain after spending a week in the basement of the united states holocaust memorial museum for 7 hours each day.

absolutely fried? definitely.

it's a good think our weekend itinerary includes the phrase "optional" for both saturday and sunday. i really don't think i could do nine consecutive days. at the same time, the more i think about it, the more i realize this week has flown by. i also think i'm going to have to use part of my stipend to pay the extra weight fee at reagan when i fly back to DIA next week. aside from the 250 pages of reading material assigned for the seminar, by next week i'll have another....well let's break it down here.

235 pages of steven galloway's "the cellist of sarajevo" (ushmm bookstore)
482 pages of saul friedländer's "nazi germany and the jews: 1933-1945" (barnes and noble in georgetown)
17 pages of ITS documents related to the concentration camp system
67 pages of ITS documents related to non-jewish victims
85 pages of ITS documents related to foreign, forced, and slave labor in the german war economy
93 pages of ITS documents related to displaced persons
250 pages (roughly) of the glossary of ITS terms and abbreviations (August 2, 2010 version) [free. woohoo!]
50 (roughly) pages of misc info from the museum

added to my reading packet (and not counting stuff from this weekend + monday and tuesday)?


not exactly the most environmentally friendly seminar, but i think i'll use about everything i've collected here for my master's thesis or dissertation. we'll see.

i think this has been a productive pilot seminar for the museum. i'd like to go to bad arolsen, germany someday to the actual ITS archive to do more research. i was looking through some ITS documents when eric was talking about the bundesarchiv in berlin when i heard him mention lichterfelde. for those of you who aren't familiar with your suburbs of berlin (or my travel history), i stayed in lichterfelde this past january while in berlin (we actually stayed off the S-25 stop 'lichterfelde ost' while staying there). i wish i would've known that while we were there! ah well. next time.

i'm going to relax a little bit until 10am monday morning. i'll probably take my time getting to the museum tomorrow and sunday to conduct a little research. i requested some microfiche to look at tomorrow regarding a survivor's account in crematorium three in birkenau at the library on the fifth floor of the museum, and will probably use the CNI (central name index) of the ITS on sunday to try and find records for these people:

miklos nyiszli (hungarian jew deported to auschwitz in 1944. wrote "auschwitz: a doctor's eyewitness account)
marco nahon (a greek jew sent to auschwitz, stutthof, and other smaller camps. wrote "birkenau: the camp of death")
benny hochman (holocaust survivor i might interview sometime in the near future)
john rabe (committed national socialist living in nanking, china during the time of the nanking massacre.)

monday we're going over war criminals and tuesday, we'll finish the seminar. i'll be back in mountain time next wednesday.

i can't believe school is almost here. i'm excited to make the transition to boulder and further my history studies there. i've met a lot of people at the museum who have said a lot of good things about people there and their program (a couple profs who have had christopher browning as their dissertation advisor). which reminds me. i need to finalize classes and find a place to live (since a couple deals have fallen through) when i'm not at the museum this weekend, or not at arlington taking pictures of the kennedy memorials for ian (and sasaki).

blech. it's 7:30. i think i'm just going to go to bed now.


  1. Ren, I can't wait to hear more about this. Hard to believe, huh? Your life sounds like a movie.

    Yay for CU -- much to talk about.... fly home safely :)

  2. so glad the seminar was productive and super enjoyable (albeit mentally draining). thx for taking photos for me during your time in dc.

  3. When you live in Boulder, I'll get to see you more often! Maybe.