When I was an undergraduate, I spent a semester abroad in Germany. I was there, of course, to learn German: that was the express purpose of the trip. But I also had felt a need to go there to find out whether Germans were a different kind of people.
My mother is a survivor of Auschwitz. She lost her entire family there. The Holocaust is a tragedy that has been a major factor in my life, one that has driven my push for social justice.