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Alyssa Schrag

Hometown: Moundridge, Kansas
Major: History
Class: 2012

Alyssa Schrag presented her paper, Peace or Persecution: Mennonite Involvement in the Holocaust, at the Kansas Association of Historians gathering in March 2012. Her paper stemmed out of a summer archival research position in Washington D.C.

What brought you to Bethel?
My family has a long history of attendance at Bethel, with my parents, grandma, aunts and uncles, and sister. Despite the fact that I tried to rebel and seriously considered EMU and Goshen, Bethel won out, mainly because of the volleyball program and the students and teachers.
How were you selected to present your paper at the Kansas Association of Historians?
Mark [Jantzen] pulled me aside one day after class and asked if I would be interested in applying. I agreed and sent in my abstract and they accepted!
Can you tell us more about your summer archival research position in Washington D.C.?
Well actually, the research that I did this summer was for the URICA grant I got from Bethel. I did research at the Southern District Court in New York City, the Holocaust Museum in D.C., and the National Archives in Maryland. At the court in New York, I looked over documents involved in the court case United States vs. Jack Reimer, and at the two archives I looked at microfilm documents about Wehrmacht (regular German army) or SS members. My overall experience was good, but challenging. It was kind of exciting to look at documents from such a monumental time in history.
What were some of your favorite classes at Bethel and why?
Well of course I enjoyed my history classes. I think the two that I enjoyed the most were Greece and Rome and Holocaust because these have always been the two time periods that interested me the most ever since I was little. But I actually also really enjoyed my literature classes with Amy and Nathan, Literature of the Nonwestern World and War Literature. Oh, and of course my art classes. Sculpture and painting were a blast!
What will you miss the most about Bethel?
My friends. I will definitely miss having my friends so close by. I don’t know what I will do next year without a whole community of other people my age where I can just walk to someone’s room to hang out!
What does being a Thresher mean to you?
To me being a Thresher means valuing hard work as well as community.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.