Within the framework of the "Pestalozzi" programme for the training of education professionals,
a number of European workshops specifically devoted to Holocaust remembrance teaching and to teaching with a view to preventing crimes against humanity
A European seminar is held on a regular basis, bringing together many teachers from Austria and member states, along with survivors (of the Holocaust and the Samudaripen): the exchanges between them are very dispassionate but the wealth of the information passed on orally is extremely valuable for teachers who can subsequently either relate what they have learned to their pupils or invite the survivors to their classrooms.
There has been an annual European workshop held since 2007, when Croatian teachers present their classroom teaching experiences. These workshops are noteworthy in both quantitative and qualitative terms for not only the knowledge they transmit but also the material which can be directly used by teachers and the emphasis placed on Jasenovac, a genuinely historically symbolic site, as a teaching tool.
A seminar to be held every two years was inaugurated in 2008 in conjunction with the French Ministry of Education and the Shoah Memorial in Paris. It focuses on teaching about the Holocaust and the use of a range of innovative educational approaches (such as films, postcards, cartoons, eye-witness accounts, comic strips, literature). The seminars have been attended by participants from 15 member states and many teachers have remained in contact following the event.
In 2008, a European workshop was held at the European Youth Centre in Budapest. It was primarily devoted to the Samudaripen or Porajmos, the persecution and genocide suffered by the Roma. A DVD on Roma culture in Hungary has been released and the analysis of films and of written and oral eye-witness accounts has provided material which can be directly used in the classroom. The seminar also looked at the Holocaust in Hungary and a number of historically symbolic sites were visited: Holocaust Memorial Centre. Practical workshops with teachers focused significantly on the preventive dimension.
The Norwegian Ministry of Education organised a seminar at the Centre for Holocaust Studies in Oslo in autumn 2007. The seminar focused on the different approaches to teaching about the Holocaust by addressing the following questions: should one adopt a comparative approach to genocides? Should one teach about the Holocaust without analysing the mechanisms and teach it only in history classes? Or should it be treated as a specific phenomenon and on the basis of a conceptual analysis of its mechanisms, should one opt more especially for a preventive approach in the context of education in democratic citizenship? Various methodological approaches in the form of role playing, a website and the analysis of films and audiovisual documents made it possible to adopt an original approach to the issue.
The Polish Ministry of Education has, since 2005, organised a biannual European workshop, one in Krakow and Auschwitz Birkenau, and the other in Warsaw, with the aim of providing European teachers with in situ training to enable them to use a genuine historically symbolic site as a tool for teaching about the Holocaust. Most of these teachers directly apply what they have learned by organising a study visit to Auschwitz and occasionally ask for Council of Europe oversight in carrying out the project. The focus in Warsaw was not solely on the Holocaust period, but also took into account the Polish Jewish heritage, the history of minorities, Jewish-Polish relations and changes in teaching about the Holocaust since 1945. Some 20 member states have sent participants in the last four years
In October 2009, a European seminar was held on Ljubljana entitled “From crimes against humanity in European history to the birth of the European idea” which looked at the specific features of Slovenian history in the period of the second world war and on different recollections of that history. Concentration camp survivors exchanged views with teachers.
The Slovakian Ministry of Education held a European seminar in January 2006, focusing on not only remembrance of the Holocaust in countries under communist role post 1945 but also the rise of anti-Semitism in parallel to the process of greater democracy and freedom of expression in the 1990s. The seminar addressed the use of eye-witness accounts and the film “Kindertransport”. Exchanges of views between teachers from the former Soviet bloc and from west European countries on how remembrance has changed were very much appreciated.
Link to the Pestalozzi Workshops::
Ad hoc monitoring
Downloadable good practices