Holocaust » Overview

Overview

Over the last half century a great many programs on Holocaust education and initiatives on Holocaust remembrance have been launched and continue to be implemented in countries primarily located in Europe and North America and Israel, most of whom are members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). However, little is known about programs and initiatives on the subject outside of IHRA.

Salzburg Global Seminar, together with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, seeks to bring greater awareness of Holocaust education and remembrance programs in other countries with the objective of fostering dialogue, promoting tolerance, and providing a knowledge-sharing resource platform.

“I am honoured to have been associated with this project since its inception in 2009. Working together, the Seminar and the Museum have brought together scholars, educators and policy makers from different academic disciplines, and from many different parts of the world, to consider how far, and in what ways, education about the Holocaust and other genocides can actually contribute to the prevention of further such tragedies in the future.”

- Kofi Annan

Visit the country profile pages for more detailed  information.
For information on Holocaust education around the world, please download:

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Trends, Patterns, and Practices, a publication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Salzburg Global Seminar, 2013

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Kolkata mass violence and tolerance conference draws on Salzburg Global expertise
Salzburg Global Fellows Stephanie Rotem and Navras Jaat Aafreedi, with Program Director Charles Ehrlich and Senior Advisor Edward Mortimer
Kolkata mass violence and tolerance conference draws on Salzburg Global expertise
Charles Ehrlich 
Salzburg Global Seminar featured prominently at an international multi-disciplinary conference on “Prevention of Mass Violence and Promotion of Tolerance: Lessons from History” at Presidency University in Kolkata, India, on 27-28 February 2017. Convened by Salzburg Global Fellow Navras Jaat Aafreedi (Fellow of Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Borders), this conference brought together scholars from Australia, Austria, Canada, India, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants included Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich, Senior Advisor Edward Mortimer, and Fellow Stephanie Rotem (Cultural Institutions without Walls: New Models of Arts-Community Interaction).   The conference took place as part of a high-profile series of events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Presidency University, India’s oldest institution of higher education – originally founded as Hindoo College in 1817. The celebrations aim to draw visibility to some of the university’s accomplishments, and this particular conference highlighted a new course on Holocaust and genocide studies established at the university this academic year, the first of its kind in South Asia. Aafreedi established the course in part drawing from his experience participating in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program. “History, the way it is being taught, is often a victim of propaganda. Regimes often place their stooges in all the key positions at the premier institutions of the country for the creation of a vicious atmosphere. Political regimes can't succeed in carrying out their evil designs if scholars do not give them the backroom support for petty gains,” Aafreedi told the Times of India, one of India’s leading broadsheets, which featured it with a front page article. Ehrlich, invited as the current director of the HEGP Program, presented a paper on “Holocaust, propaganda, and the distortion of history in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,” and chaired the final afternoon roundtable discussion.  Mortimer, who founded the HEGP Program in 2010 during his tenure as Chief Program Officer, chaired the introductory panel on “Prevention of Mass Violence” and presented a paper on “Reflections on the Responsibility to Protect.” Rotem’s paper focused on “Holocaust Commemoration in Museums: Teaching Universal or Unique Lessons.” The conference discussions, and in particular the final roundtable chaired by Ehrlich, examined what one participant called “truth as the first victim” of intolerance and whether to regulate or combat hateful or false speech; unhelpful conflicting narratives both of “comparative genocide” as well as definitions of “victimhood”; and whether the role of education should be for the purpose of aiding healing, dialogue, apologies, prevention of future atrocities, or some combination thereof. Although the participants did not necessarily agree across the discussions, the common conclusion emerged that it is important to ensure the next generation has the analytical tools to learn from history in order to combat intolerance. Since 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar has implemented the HEGP Program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the multi-year series has engaged participants from more than 30 countries, the majority of which are non-Western countries outside the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities. The program series has established a network of individuals and NGOs across East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union, and strives to deepen and extend their collaborative work, allowing practitioners to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education and peaceful conflict resolution. Currently, with support of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Salzburg Global Seminar is supporting the implementation of activities in Cambodia, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, and South Africa to promote pluralism and combat extremism, using the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other mass atrocities as examples of what can happen when hatred goes unchecked, connecting educators, activists, and others dedicated to preventing mass atrocities and genocide to advance knowledge exchange, test institutional development plans, and design long-term strategies to combat extremism and its consequences.
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Fellows collaborate to tackle extremism in Africa
Fellows collaborate to tackle extremism in Africa
Denise Macalino 
Eighty years since the first Jewish detainees were murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp, and the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust was able to happen. In the decades following, the political slogan “Never Again” has rung hollow in societies affected by other 20th century genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The questions remain: How can genocide be deterred? Can the lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides serve as a theoretical and practical barrier to the possibility of future generations committing mass atrocities? What can the global community learn from the international application of Holocaust education to help us understand how to prevent violence in the future? What practical role can Holocaust education play in societies still grappling with difficult legacies of mass violence and genocide?Salzburg Global’s 2016 Session, Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, brought together participants from countries recently troubled and recovering from the effects of mass, targeted violence. South Africans Tali Nates and Richard Freedman and Rwandans Freddy Mutanguha, Mubigalo Aloys Mahwa, left the session with a hopeful answer to tackling extremism through education. Facilitated by Salzburg Global Seminar, they have created this course to counter extremism and promote pluralism by learning from the difficult past through the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and Apartheid in South Africa. The aim of this collaboration is to build resistance to violence and help students develop the skills to challenge extremism. Their course is currently being piloted in South Africa and Rwanda, and if evaluated successfully, will be launched in a number of other African countries. Fellows Tali Nates, Richard Freedman, Freddy Mutanguha, and Aloys Mahwa are utilizing connections formed at Salzburg Global to reach audiences beyond South Africa and Rwanda, and to bring their program to scale. Tali Nates, Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, stated that with the help of Salzburg Global, they plan to “bring our experiences to politicians, education policymakers, media, and civil society leaders.” By engaging specialists from multiple sectors, they plan to create lasting, positive impact for students around the continent.Salzburg Global is able to continue this kind of positive work thanks to our generous donors, who believe in our mission. This collaboration, and further initiatives started at Salzburg Global would not be possible without our partners and funders. We’d like to express our gratitude to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Bosch Foundation, which supported the Fellows mentioned in this article.
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Hakima Fassi Fihri - "We don't open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market."
Hakima Fassi Fihri - "We don't open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market."
Chris Hamill-Stewart 
The International University of Rabat (UIR), Morocco, has become known for developing a model of innovative teaching, renowned for its professionalism and rigor at a national and international level. During the Salzburg Global session, Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, Hakima Fassi Fihri, Director of International Relations and Partnerships at UIR, explained what role she felt the institution played. Figures obtained by the World Bank in 2014 indicated 20.2 per cent of the youth labor force in Morocco were unemployed. Fihri says this remains an “important issue”, one in which institutions like UIR are looking to address. This unemployment rate, however, is set against a backdrop of an increasingly dynamic business environment in Morocco.  Fihri suggests academic programs in some universities have failed to keep up with a “shifting” job market. At UIR, however, this isn’t the case. Fihri says, “At UIR, the curriculum that we offer at Rabat is designed to fit the needs of the job market in Morocco. This means we don’t open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market.” UIR was the first university to be set up as part of a partnership between the state and the private sector in the higher education field. It offers a multidisciplinary education where language learning is considered an integral part of education. Fihri says, “[Languages] are very important to us - students study in French and English.”  This, combined with mandatory internships on all degrees, semesters spent abroad, and international students coming from partner universities, enables students to receive a well-rounded education. Fihri says, “Being multilingual and having work experience, within and outside Morocco, makes a huge difference to your employability.” Graduates are being offered opportunities to find a jobs within the first few months, according to Fihri. She says, “We give them better opportunities because we innovate our curriculums. We don’t just use the traditional way of teaching. We also add obligatory internships throughout their degrees. Internships are used as a credit activity. In masters and bachelors (courses), they must complete them. You learn much more than what you would through the classroom alone when you do an internship.”  Fihri says she believes in the value of academic diplomacy, the capability of universities to foster dialogue across geographic, cultural and religious boundaries. By working with institutions across the world, and facilitating dialogue between these cultures, Fihri believes UIR is helping to change people’s stereotypes about Morocco and the region itself. She says, “I believe in academic diplomacy, which means universities play a role in international relations. So, it is important. We have not only a duty to educate in terms of academia, but also educate in terms of behavior and critical thinking for our students, to give them [the] ability to question their certainties and their beliefs, and question and debate everything.” Hakima Fassi Fihri was a participant at the Salzburg Global session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. The series is being hosted in partnership with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/564  
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Learning from the Past - Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Learning from the Past - Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Chris Hamill-Stewart 
Eighty years since the first Jewish detainees were killed in the Dachau Concentration Camp, the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust was able to happen. In the decades that followed, the political slogan “Never Again” has rung hollow in societies affected by other 20th century genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The question remains: How can genocide be prevented? The Salzburg Global Seminar session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, part of the Salzburg Global series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, taking place December 1 to 3 at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, will address this question in more expanded context than in previous programs to examine political extremism in countries across the world. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, and in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Program has already engaged participants from more than 30 countries since its inauguration in 2010, the majority of which are outside the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities.Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will bring together representatives from schools, museums, remembrance sites, and other institutions seeking to maximize their impact in combatting extremism. The session will focus on countries where recent mass atrocities or discrimination have made them particularly susceptible to a rise in extremism that threatens their communities, regions, and the world. Participants will be encouraged to examine the history of the Holocaust as an example of what can happen when hatred goes unchecked and to search out contemporary connections, including the role played by anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance in the participating countries. They will use highly collaborative workshops to exchange expertise and experiences, drawing upon this to draft plans for their institutions’ development.  “The participants coming to Salzburg for this session are looking for ways to reach out to the youth in their countries, particularly those who feel somehow marginalized,” says Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich. “Those in rural, remote, or disadvantaged backgrounds are also particularly vulnerable – the session will help them learn the lessons of the past, and help them create a world and a future that they want to live in.”This year’s session will lay the groundwork for the following year, in which peer advisory visits to participating countries will connect educators, activists, and others dedicated to preventing mass atrocities and genocide to advance knowledge exchange, test institutional development plans, and design long-term institutional strategies to combat extremism and its consequences.  Scholars, educators and policy makers agree that Holocaust education can be an effective tool for educating students and the public about the importance of protecting democracy and human rights. Holocaust education helps to prevent racism and anti-Semitism, and promotes mutual respect between people of different races, religions, and cultures. This Salzburg Global session will be another important part of the process of using lessons learned from the Holocaust to turn “Never Again” from a political slogan, into a reality. The Salzburg Global session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. The series is being hosted in partnership with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/564  
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Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Jessica Franzetti 
The report from the inaugural session Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities is now available online to read, download and share. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge launched a genocidal regime in which 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, the Cambodian art scene, with Phnom Penh at its heart, has reemerged as the country’s population, 60% of whom are under 25, utilize the arts to rebuild, unify, and renew their unique cultural traditions. In collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and with sponsorship from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, 45 delegates from 24 countries were invited to discuss the critical challenges facing a post-conflict nation and the role that arts and culture can play as a vehicle for positive change. Held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where post-conflict transformation is a lived reality, the three-day workshop served as a starting point for increased South-South dialogue. The diversity of the delegates’ fields, from cultural renewal and development to youth resilience and social innovation, allowed for a diversity of perspectives in addressing deep-rooted mistrust and challenges faced in the preservation of heritage and cultural identity. The program included plenary sessions, breakout groups, and site visits, which allowed for extensive dialogue concerning art and its unique ability to transform a culture and aid in rebuilding a society. Download the report as a PDF
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Kofi A. Annan,  Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1997-2006

Honorary President, Salzburg Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention