Having identified a critical need to work with Holocaust educators in Europe, the Memorial Library has begun to expand its reach in order to create programming there. Partnering with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, the Library offers annual summer seminars for school superintendents, teachers, researchers, and doctoral candidates, with wide-reaching impact nationwide.
Recognizing a similar need in Bulgaria, the Library began to organize summer seminars in Bulgaria with cooperation from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, American University in Bulgaria, and the Israel-Bulgaria Institute. This program reaches middle and high school teachers from communities across the country.
The long-term goal of the Library’s European initiatives is to bolster the National Network of Holocaust and Social Justice Educators in Romania and Bulgaria, to provide ongoing training to participants, and to build a platform for international Holocaust educators. In only a few short years, the Library’s Holocaust Educators Network has already grown to include more than 200 teachers in Europe.
The Library’s Romania summer seminars, entitled The Holocaust in Romania: Between History and Perception, take place in partnership with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. Memorial Library representatives and top national and international experts on the Holocaust and Holocaust education join participating educators, who value the way the seminar’s direct approach makes difficult material uniquely accessible and meaningful.
The seminar agenda includes lectures and workshops exploring an extensive list of topics, among them anti-Semitism, Romanian Jewish life, the memory of the Holocaust in the post-Communist era, the use of primary sources in learning about the Holocaust, and Holocaust denial. Educators also meet Holocaust survivors, saw Holocaust-related films and documentaries, and tour local synagogues. Read more!
The Library has also launched seminars in Bulgaria, entitled Learning about the Past – Acting for the Future: Teaching about the Holocaust and Social Justice, with cooperation from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, American University in Bulgaria, and the Israel-Bulgaria Institute.
High school and middle school teachers come from all over the country to hear from internationally renowned lecturers, interact with survivors, and think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach the Holocaust and issues of social justice in their schools. They exchange ideas, approaches, and challenges with their colleagues, and have the opportunity to engage with new teaching methodologies to help their students approach the study of this difficult topic. Read more!
In spring 2016, the Bundesrealgymnasium in der Au and the Memorial Library offered a six-day seminar for teachers of middle and high schools focusing on issues of historical-political education and Holocaust education. This seminar brought together teachers from Austria and the United States to explore each others’ narratives about the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust, to exchange approaches and methods derived from their classrooms, and to discuss current challenges in education in both countries.
Participants were encouraged to work in curriculum groups to create teaching units reflecting current issues of Holocaust education collaboratively and to engage in discussions about the question of transnational normative values.The seminar was held at the Bundesrealgymnasium in der Au in Innsbruck. Read more!