By February 5, 2016 Read More →

The Future of Holocaust Education

United Nations Department of Public Information NGO Briefing
“The Future of Holocaust Education”

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This briefing brought together experts from academic institutions and international organizations, researchers, educators, and authors who examined current trends in Holocaust research and Education. Key questions addressed included: how to expand teacher training and Holocaust Education around the world; how to adapt to a changing environment with the rise of multicultural classroom settings and losing of eye witnesses to testify to the Holocaust; and what role international organizations have to play in the field.

Welcome remarks were shared by Ms. Hawa Diallo, NGO Relations and Advocacy.

Ms. Kimberly Mann, Chief, Education Outreach Section moderated the panel.

Speakers on the panel:

Szabolcs Takács, Chair, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Debórah Dwork, Professor, Clark University

Jane Jacobs-Kimmelman, Director, International Relations Department, International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem

Zehavit Gross, Professor, Bar-Illan University

Ms. Jane Jacobs-Kimmelman stated in her address that there are 60 countries offering Holocaust Education. She noted the necessity of engaging the empathy of students through human stories versus frightening pictures of dead bodies. Even some countries that have no direct contact with Holocaust have shown interest – Argentina, India, Australia and New Zealand, China. Education has also started in the Arab world – Turkey, Morocco, and Israel. ‘Out-of-the-box’ activities are also available – art, poetry, music, ‘American Idol’ type competition.

Ms. Zehavit Gross: this subject of despair is changing to a subject of hope and it is in our hands. Adolescents are the agents of change. Teachers can equip students with tools to deal with the different situations – gender, religion, etc. ISIS should cause us sleepless nights – we need to take action – don’t be bystanders. Let there be a Culture of Remembrance, least it happens again. Let us create a just cosmopolitan world through cosmopolitan consciousness. Let there be conflict management vs. conflict resolution. Let us embrace activism.

Ms. Debórah Dwork: what precisely is the purpose of Holocaust Education? There is a trend now of prejudices, genocide, and increased bullying. Good citizenship values and practices are needed along with valuing democracy, human rights and promoting tolerance. The trend needed is of geography and genocide – hatred ferments violence. We need broader lens for more perspective.

Szabolcs Takács: remarked that Governments are responsible for what is/is not in the curricular. He implored Governments to support and get involved in this Holocaust education, stating they have a responsibility. Many officials committed treason to their countries. The Vatican also sent a special missionary to this cause.

Remarks from the audience:

  • “no need to lecture the kids as many may have come from broken homes, especially in New York. To listen and share stories can make a difference.”
  • “Heroes are not born, they become that due what they do in their lives.”
  • “It was not easy to talk about our experiences. It took us time to do so, we wanted to forget, but we can’t.”

In conclusion, taking steps to prevent another holocaust, educating and empowering our people, are sure ways to help heal the pain of those who survived the holocaust. Performing acts of greatness shifts the energy and brings the change we are all seeking.

For a complete list of events during 2016 Holocaust Remembrance Week, please visit The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme website.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Our Privacy Policy   |   Our Cookie Policy