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Yale Law Students Chosen for Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Rose Goldberg ’15 and Devorah Toren ’16 have been selected by Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) to participate in a two-week program for future law professionals this summer. The two will travel to New York, Germany, and Poland, to study the role the legal profession played in Nazi Germany and use that historic focus to consider ethical challenges they may face in their future careers.

Goldberg and Toren will join a group of 48 FASPE Fellows who represent a broad range of religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds, and who were chosen through a competitive process that drew close to 900 applicants from around the world.

Run in conjunction with the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, FASPE fellowships examine the roles played by professionals in medicine, law, clergy, and journalism in Nazi Germany and underscore that the moral codes governing these essential professions can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences.

Goldberg said she hopes that FASPE will foster her sense of professional ethics and inform her multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. “The most difficult and consequential questions lawyers face are not confined to the law. Indeed, they turn on profound value-based determinations that transcend disciplinary boundaries,” she said.

Inspired by her past work at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Toren said she wants to give “voice to the voiceless.”

“As a lawyer in training, I have an obligation to learn more than the doctrine; I must also consider what my professional and personal ethical responsibilities will be, before I am responsible for defending or prosecuting anyone,” Toren added.

Over the course of their travel, Fellows will participate in seminars run by leading scholars who serve as FASPE faculty, and attend lectures with a range of guest speakers. The program integrates historical, cultural, philosophical and literary sources; survivor testimony; and workshops in Berlin, Auschwitz and Krakow. FASPE has worked with more than 200 students using curricula designed in partnership with faculty from Yale Medical School, Yale Law School, Columbia School of Journalism, and Georgetown University.


Top image: Memorial at Auschwitz-Birkenau, photo by Valerie Hopkins

Bottom image: Students at House of the Wannsee Conference, Berlin, photo by Bogdan Mohora