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The International School for Holocaust Studies

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


The fall semester saw a continuation of seminar activity run by the European Department, within the framework of the ICHEIC Program for Holocaust Education in Europe, both at Yad Vashem and abroad. During this semester, for the first time, seminars were held for Irish and Slovenian educators with positive feedback received from participants. “This seminar has provided an incomparable opportunity to continue my journey of understanding. It has developed my own knowledge of the Holocaust and highlighted the many areas that research into this topic involves. It has also shown many new ways to bring this topic to my students.” In addition, educators and graduates from Romania, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, France, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland took part in seminars.

Within the framework of, and prior to, the International Graduate seminar in Vienna (see below), four videoconferences took place with students in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK conducting virtual meetings with survivors and educators at Yad Vashem. Through this technological medium the European students received a unique learning experience.

The Fourth Annual International ICHEIC Forum will take place at Yad Vashem in February. Its participants, Yad Vashem’s European partners, represent organizations actively involved in Holocaust education.

Commemorating 70 Years since Kristallnacht: Graduate Seminar in Vienna, 8-10 November
In November Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies held an International Graduate seminar in Vienna, as part of a joint initiative with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Taking part in the seminar were 23 educators, graduates of Yad Vashem seminars held, within the framework of the ICHEIC program, from EU Member States.

The goal of the seminar was to examine the tragic events of the Kristallnacht pogrom from a 21st century perspective, however during its two intensive days four main subjects were tackled: “The importance of educational cooperation between the FRA and the European Department of the ISHS at Yad Vashem,” “Examining the educational material on the Kristallnacht pogrom” (by way of a workshop), “Analyzing the effectiveness of the tool of videoconference with survivors on a bi- and multi-national level,” and “Analyzing the Yad Vashem educational film project – survivors speak on location." In addition to the plenum presentations and discussions, group dialogues were held in order to prepare annual programs.

The seminar established a link between human rights education and Holocaust education, while at the same time presenting a follow-up activity for graduates of seminars at Yad Vashem. The participants, teachers from various EU states, displayed enthusiasm for national and multi-national projects, as in their home countries such projects are part of a struggle against antisemitism and a violation of human rights.

The seminar allowed for a practical exchange Yad Vashem staff and FRA members, as well as a commitment to future projects. As such, a joint meeting will be held during 2009 at Yad Vashem, to discuss the experiences in implementing these projects. Those projects will be tailor-made, to suit the teaching and national environment of each participant.

During the seminar vital contacts were established for future cooperation with the FRA, contacts which are particularly valuable due to the wide variety of national contexts across the EU and in order to promote increase Holocaust education, especially in its contemporary implementation.