Holocaust » Overview

Overview

Since 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar has implemented the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the Program has engaged participants from more than 40 countries on six continents, the majority of which are non-Western countries, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities. The Program has established a network of individuals and NGOs across these countries, 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.

Faced with a rise in violent extremism, policymakers are under pressure to invest in prevention and to show that it works. Structured efforts to reduce extremist mindsets and behaviors have existed for some time, but evidence of effectiveness is often not widely known or utilized. Many interventions require considerable time to affect change, making rigorous measurement of their success over the long-term resource-intensive with sustained political will around an often-unpopular topic. What works? How do we know? And will it work in different geographic, cultural, and political contexts? 

Salzburg Global Seminar’s Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program works across cultures and contexts, including where perceptions and definitions of “extremism” differ widely. The emphasis on grassroots activity within existing institutional budgets anchors projects in their local communities and improves chances for longer-term sustainability. Activities depend on the partners and are demand-driven: the Program provides no financial support to activity implementation, but rather the Program facilitates networks and exchange of experiences across borders to help in-country partners achieve their own institutional mandates, and to help external partners (government, academic, and other interested parties) to have access to practical feedback from on the ground within affected countries and communities.

For detailed information on countries that are not currently part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), please see: Holocaust Education.

For detailed reports from Salzburg Global Seminar sessions and compiled by Fellows, please see: Salzburg Global Publications

For further Holocaust Education resources from our partner, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, please see: Additional USHMM Resources

 


Updates from the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program

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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Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Tuol Sleng Museum - picture by Phalinn Ooi
Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Patrick Wilson 
A landmark collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and Salzburg Global Seminar Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts Forum: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities took place between March 10 to 12 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three day event, sponsored by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, connected arts activators and change makers from twenty countries and drew together insights from Salzburg Global's multi-year programs on Culture, the Arts and Society, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, and the Young Cultural Innovators Forum.  Just over 40 years ago, the Khmer Rouge regime launched its genocidal regime in which nearly 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, with 60% of the country’s population under 25, Cambodia’s first post-genocide generation has the opportunity to work with and through the arts to rebuild community, renew unique cultural traditions, and foster resilience and economic innovation. This three-day workshop addressed critical challenges faced by many countries during and after mass atrocities by exploring ways to overcome mistrust, preserve heritage and collective identity, and build supportive partnerships with government and other organizations.  Participants created the basis for an international network of advocates using the arts to transform pre and post conflict societies, advanced the notion of culture as a vehicle for peace and promoted dialogue as a driver for inclusive development. In addition to the workshop, Salzburg Global hosted a special evening event at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum entitled "Place of Memory." The museum is a former high school where some 17,000 people were imprisoned and tortured during the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Panelists, including Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Claire Shine, guided discussions that were informed by Salzburg Global's highly-respected work on Holocaust and Genocide education and remembrance, through which we have built a major international network to foster dialogue, promote tolerance, and share knowledge and resources. Both Salzburg Global and Cambodia Living Arts will be posting more information on our respective sites and are proud to have partnered together to create a means of dialogue and networking to aid conflict transformation and avoid the mistakes of our pasts. For more information see: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/Fellow56
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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

“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