Earning College Degrees Behind Bars

A BPI student holds up a book while speaking to the classroom.It’s a Friday afternoon in December, and history professor John Fout is leading the students in his course, “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust,” in a spirited discussion.

Every time he has taught this class, Fout says from behind his desk in Room 7, students always ask: “If the Germans were losing the war, why didn’t they use the Jews to help them? If you can answer that question, you can answer the question of Nazi Germany.” He pauses and looks around. “And what’s the answer?”

Eleven students, who are seated in rows of desks with their copies of Christopher Browning’s “The Origins of the Final Solution” propped open, begin throwing out ideas all at once.

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