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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Teaching the Legacy: e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
(March, 2006)


First ever ICHEIC International Forum at the International School for Holocaust Studies
The first annual ICHEIC International Forum took place at Yad Vashem in February, with participants from 12 European countries. An important meeting of European educators and coordinators from government offices and NGO’s from Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, UK, and Ukraine, the Forum was organized within the framework of the ICHEIC Program for Holocaust Education in Europe.

The successful Forum provided a framework for participants and Yad Vashem staff to take part in an exchange of ideas and to enhance cooperation on a bilateral and European level as well as to learn about educational activities in other countries. During the four-day program a wide range of topics pertaining to Holocaust education were examined including the importance of teacher-training seminars in Israel and in Europe, and the creation of educational units by Yad Vashem and its partners for use in a variety of European countries. Participants also discussed the importance of creating a European network of educators, and specific methods to encourage post-seminar cooperation. Our website features more information on the ICHEIC Program.

A First-Time Visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina
Educators from Yad Vashem were invited for the first time to visit The Republic of Srpska in Bosnia - Herzegovina in January, 2006. The purpose of the visit was to examine the possibilities for cooperation in joint educational and cultural ventures, and to participate in seminars with local teachers and educators - a number of whom have completed Yad Vashem teaching courses in recent years. The invitation was extended to the Yad Vashem staff by the Republic’s Government Secretary of Religion-Related Issues, Mr. Dusan Antelj.

Upon arrival, Yad Vashem representatives visited Donja Gradina, part of the former Jasenovac concentration camp complex and today in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mayor and the director of the site provided a guided tour. In addition, a Serbian Jasenovac survivor, who lost her family at the camp, gave a brief testimony.

Yad Vashem is currently exploring how it can work together with the Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Education to organize teacher-training seminars for additional local educators. In addition, talks were held with representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church about the possibility of organizing Holocaust education seminars for their teachers.

The visit was well covered in the local media. The Yad Vashem staff held workshops and lectures that were well attended, especially by local people who had never heard of the work of Yad Vashem. Local participants displayed interest in the Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names, giving suggestions for organizing a similar project for Serbian victims. As a result of this visit, The International School for Holocaust studies at Yad Vashem plans to continue to expand its contact with Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2007.

New Online Course: "At the Edge of the Abyss: The Holocaust of European Jewry"
The International School presents a new online course on the Holocaust, "At the Edge of the Abyss: The Holocaust of European Jewry". The course, written by experts from the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, provides an extensive introduction to the subject of the Holocaust. It is modular, consisting of 5 independent, stand-alone sub-courses. The topics of these are: Jewish life before the Holocaust; Nazi Germany and the Jews; Ghettos; the “Final Solution”; and Holocaust survivors and remembrance. The course makes use of a variety of sources from the Yad Vashem archives, as well as photographs, documents, testimonies, existing lesson plans, links to our online resource center and more. Information and registration are online now.