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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Teaching the Legacy: e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
(September, 2008)


As we near the end of the summer, the work in The European Department continues at a high pace.

During the month of May, the European Department welcomed over 130 participants in six seminars from Germany, Poland, and the UK. In June we hosted a special group from Sweden led by Krister Mattson. Mr. Mattson works with youth who had been connected with right-extremist activities, and through much learning have turned from deniers of the Holocaust to those who commemorate it. The group arrived at Yad Vashem to commemorate the names of women who died in their city, Karlstad, after being evacuated at the end of the war. We also hosted an interesting and successful seminar for teachers from Lithuania.

In July, 2008 we had the busiest month since the establishment of the department in 2005. It started with the first teachers’ seminar from Estonia, and continued with a second seminar for International graduate students. This group along with seven others participated in the Sixth International Teachers Conference, which was extremely impressive to our participants as well as a wonderful resource for them. Toward the end of the month, we held a unique seminar for Tatarian teachers coming from Kazan, the capitol of Tatarstan on the Volga. This seminar was comprised of 21 teachers, most of whom are Muslim. During their seminar, they took part in two new workshops dealing with the evacuation of Jews to inner Soviet areas during the war, and the life of Jews in the former Soviet Union between the two World Wars. The seminar participants also visited Ramla, Acre, the Islamic Art Museum in Jerusalem, as well as other sites in Israel. They also attended a workshop at the humanistic center of the Ghetto Fighters’ House.

The European Department looks forward to welcoming eight seminars in August, among them three seminars from Spain and a first time seminar from Portugal.