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The International School for Holocaust Studies

European Educators

Projects of Our Seminars Graduates

The N.O.M.E.S. (Names and Looks to the Memory and Education of the Shoah)

Sandra Costa, Portugal


The N.O.M.E.S. (Names and Looks to the Memory and Education of the Shoah) is based upon the educational philosophy of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. The project sought to teach the Holocaust using human stories to a group of 37 12th graders at the Vilela Secondary School (Paredes, Portugal), in order to learn that the "Final Solution of the Jewish Problem" was not about numbers, but about human beings.

Exhibition: 'Europe, Memory and Holocaust'
Exhibition: 'Europe, Memory and Holocaust'

The Portuguese students were divided in four working groups over the academic year 2009-10. One group carried out a project called “After All, We Survived”: searching biographies of Holocaust survivors from different nationalities and filled an identification form that are now available in boxes built by the students to be used in the school’s library. Another group carried out a project called “We Also Lived the War”, a local and oral history project on the impact of World War II on Portuguese life through a survey using a population sample of the geographical area of the school, and on a population sample of the geographical area of Oporto. At the end the students produced a presentation on the comparative conclusions of the study. The third group carried out a project called “Different Perspectives on the Shoah”, a multicultural project examining comparative histories of the Holocaust, by approaching international secondary school students and students (foreign-based, or Erasmus students living in Portugal), online or in person. The goal was to realize a comparative study about concepts, methodologies and memory about the Shoah in different countries. At the end the students produced three presentations with the comparative conclusions of the study. Finally, the fourth group developed the operation “Searching Six in Six Millions”.

Searching Six in Six Millions
"Searching Six in Six Millions"

Based in the personal story of Daniel Mendelsohn as published in the book, The Loss, A Search for Six of Six Million, the Portuguese students were invited to recover the memory of six people who died in the Holocaust, through online contact with someone from a Jewish family living in Portugal or speaking Portuguese. With the gathered information (personal memories, photos, personal documents, online archive documents) the students built an exhibition with 20 posters, where the memory of these lost lives were recovered. This is the exhibition catalogue.