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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Holocaust Education - Expanding Global Networks
Holocaust Education - Expanding Global Networks
Tanya Yilmaz 
The third symposium in the Salzburg Global Seminar-United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series launched Saturday, June 21 gathering 48 experts from 30 countries, all working in the profession of Holocaust documentation and remembrance, genocide research and education.  Opening the first session, the Chair of the Initiative, Klaus Mueller, the European Representative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC, outlined the framing of the five-day symposium, looking at how and why the Holocaust - which was largely a European-based event - has become a global reference for many discussions in the 21st century.  This session, entitled “Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experience Across Borders follows on from the 2012 session entitled, “Learning from the Past: Global Perspectives on Holocaust Education”.   Much of the work so far conducted in the field of Holocaust education, Mueller outlined, has invariably focused on the members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) which are predominantly based in Europe and North America or have large Jewish populations. Since 2010, Salzburg Global and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have sought to expand this network of Holocaust educators by their joint initiative.  It is to this end that this third symposium features session discussions from countries such as Australia, Rwanda, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Senegal, South Africa or Cambodia, as well as on the discussion of the Holocaust within the Arab world, helping to create global contexts for the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides.  Mueller started proceedings by highlighting how the Holocaust increasingly has become a global frame of reference for contemporary genocide, ethnic conflict and human rights violations, and asked the gathered audience of experts, “What is the relevance of Holocaust education in places where the Holocaust did not occur - and does its study help to understand contemporary genocide and serve as a tool for developing prevention strategies?” Emphasizing that “much of the debate over the last decade has investigated whether, and how, we can move from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention,” Mueller reminded participants that both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention were adopted in 1948 linking the Holocaust, history and human rights.” He stated that a global conversation on Holocaust and genocide denial and distortion urgently needed to be addressed in this year’s session, and asked participants to help gather country-specific data and case studies on such incidents, as well as generally expanding the joint-Salzburg Global-USHMM collection of country reports on Holocaust education (now available online: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org).   Salzburg Global Senior Program Advisor, Edward Mortimer, was also eager to emphasize how lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides can serve as an educational framework to scholars, researchers, museum directors, public officials and others working in the field, especially in countries outside of the IHRA.   Representing the IHRA at the Salzburg symposium, Sir Andrew Burns, currently serving as Chair of IHRA, spoke in the opening session about the cultural heritage of the Holocaust for many European countries. “We continue to study and teach about the Holocaust and other genocides because its history came out of the well-springs of European society,” said Burns.   In the wake of economic and political instability, much of Europe is seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric; it is imperative that Europe learns from its past so that potential future atrocities can be avoided. Governments have a responsibility to honestly assess their society’s attitudes and stop racist rhetoric before it unfolds into violence, argued Burns.  Gerhard Baumgartner, Scientific Director at the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance also spoke to the visiting participants about how Austria only started to recognize and confront its role in World War Two and the Holocaust in the 1970s and said, “Austria is now very dedicated today to the teaching of Holocaust and discussing its methodologies.”  The five-day symposium is being held at Schloss Leopoldskron, home of Salzburg Global Seminar. As an Austrian palace built by a Protestant-expelling Catholic Prince-Archbishop and once owned by the exiled Jewish theater director Max Reinhardt before being seized by the local Nazi party, Schloss Leopoldskron also serves as a stark reminder of what can happen when intolerance, ignorance and inaction abound.  
The session "Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders" was developed in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with support from the Austrian Future Fund, the Austrian National Fund, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Pratt Foundation. The session was the third symposium in the joint Salzburg Global-USHMM Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. For more information and updates from the session, please see the session page: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/535 and on Twitter with the hashtag #SGShol
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Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
Tanya Yilmaz 
Salzburg Global is set to hold its third symposium in its Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and supported by the Austrian Future Fund, the Austrian National Fund, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Pratt Foundation.

The session which has been entitled ‘Sharing Experience Across Borders’, will take place June 21 to 26.

Building upon the discussion created at the 2012 symposium, the multi-year initiative hopes to look into the challenges and successes in the teaching and remembrance of the Holocaust and other genocides outside of North America and Europe with a particular focus on ways to build awareness about the root causes of the Holocaust and other genocides in countries that are not members of the IHRA.

This year’s symposium will consider how to bring the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations and expand the global network of partners, enabling them to implement activities that spread awareness about the Holocaust, Holocaust education, and genocide prevention, reaching an ever-growing number of young people in ways appropriate to different cultures and countries.

By bringing together educators, civil society leaders, museum directors, policy makers and public officials this summer, the symposium will engage in issues such as whether the lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides serve as a framework to identify pending mass atrocities and how this topic is taught and commemorated in other areas across the globe. Scholars will also attempt to unmask if there are effective strategies to counteract Holocaust and genocide denial and distortion and how we can learn from these events to enable preventive measures in the future.

Previous sessions have focused on ‘The Holocaust: A distinct history, a universal message’ and ‘Learning from the Past: Global Perspectives on Holocaust Education’.

In 2012, the ‘Global Perspectives on Holocaust Education: Trends, Patterns, and Practices’ symposium predominantly focused on how the Holocaust and genocide is taught within the contexts and social understandings of local histories and traditions of not outside of the 31 member states of the IHRA.

The Holocaust Education programs have been running since 2010 and throughout this time participants have not only discussed and shared their own experiences but have also hosted in-depth debates regarding much of the uncovered work that is currently being done to connect teaching about the Holocaust in other parts of the world, including countries such as South Africa, Rwanda, Turkey and China/Hong Kong.

In June, the session will be chaired by Klaus Mueller, European Representative from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, alongside Edward Mortimer, former Vice President and Chief Program Officer of Salzburg Global Seminar.  Sir Andrew Burns, the Chair of IHRA, will be the featured speaker.  
The session "Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders" was developed in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with support from the Austrian Future Fund, the Austrian National Fund, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Pratt Foundation. The session was the third symposium in the joint Salzburg Global-USHMM Initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. For more information and updates from the session, please see the session page: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/535 and on Twitter with the hashtag #SGShol
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Salzburg Global Fellow leads first organized Palestinian visit to Auschwitz
Salzburg Global Fellow leads first organized Palestinian visit to Auschwitz
Alex Jackson 
A program led by Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, Mohammed S. Dajani, that aims to foster better reconciliation between opposed, oppressed groups, has organized what is believed to be the first visit to a Nazi death camp by Palestinian students. Over the course of several days at the end of March, students from Al-Quds University and Birzeit University learnt of the historical suffering that has heavily influenced the modern consciousness of their regional neighbors. The students also visited Kraków and Oświęcim; their hosts were two Jewish Holocaust survivors to enhance their experience and reinforce the spirit of forgiveness and the need to learn from those who witnessed such atrocities. The visit is part of a wider series of trips in the MENA region, as part of a joint program on Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, German, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.   A week prior to the Auschwitz visit, a group of Israeli students made a similar journey to visit the Dheisheh refugee camp to learn of the Palestinian pain and anguish as a result of displacement during the founding of Israel in 1948. Each group will be monitored closely by PhD psychology students who will hope to determine what effect these sites of historical trauma have upon the visitors, and whether their compassion will go beyond initial reaction to genuine empathy and a willingness to understand their perceived enemies. Whilst this is not the first time that an Israeli group has crossed borders in order to explore and interact with those in camps, the visit to Auschwitz is previously unheard of and brings hope that this will foster a new era of reconciliation and harmony. The program is directed by Mohammed S. Dajani, professor of American Studies at Al-Quds, who has written what he trusts to be the first objective take on the Holocaust available for Palestinian students. Dajani is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, having attended a program on Political Processes as part of the American Studies Center in 1995, and he will return to Salzburg this summer for the latest session in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative on "Sharing Experience Across Borders". “Basically, we want to study how empathy with the Other could help in the process of reconciliation,” Professor Dajani said in an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “I feel I would like Palestinians to explore the unexplored, and to meet these challenges where you might find that within their community there will be a lot of pressure on them not to do it or questioning why they are doing it, or that this is propaganda. I feel that’s nonsense.” Professor Dajani, who is a firm believer in the school of thought that we need to learn from our past to prevent making the same mistakes, says that the scheme promises to break through the wall of bigotry that blocks the MENA region, and has led to factions between neighboring countries, and a lack of understanding from youths. “One of my students asked me why we should learn about the Holocaust when the Israelis want to ban even the use of the word ‘Nakba,’” he added. “My response was: ‘Because in doing so, you will be doing the right thing. If they are not doing the right thing, that’s their problem.’” Notable for having been banned from Israel for 25 years, Professor Dajani advocates tackling the issue of conflict in the region head on, by teaching tolerance and calling for compromise. By witnessing the destruction of mankind first hand, the visit to Auschwitz exudes raw emotion and by which he hopes students will look for change. “I was also raised in the culture of denial, so for me, to go and see and look and be on the ground – it was a very sad experience for me. It had a lot of impact,” he admits. “I was shocked about the inhumanity of man to man. How can this happen? Why did it happen? Why would man be this cruel? “It showed me the deep, deep, dark side of human evil.”
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Salzburg Global Fellows Mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Salzburg Global Fellows Mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Marie-Louise Ryback 
Salzburg Global Fellow Tracey Petersen, Director of Education at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, spoke on January 27 at the UNESCO Holocaust Remembrance Day Conference, ‘The Impact of Holocaust Education: How to Assess Policies and Practices?’ held in Paris on the occasion of the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Two-time Salzburg Global Fellow Karel Fracapane, Programme Specialist for Education for Peace and Human Rights at UNESCO was involved in organizing the event. The day, which marks the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi death camps, also saw the release of a new UNESCO publication, Holocaust Education in a Global Context. The publication explores a variety of approaches to Holocaust education and remembrance by a number of major historians and educators from all over the world, including Salzburg Global Fellow Richard Freedman, Director of the South Africa Holocaust and Genocide Foundation. Eighty years after the first Jewish detainees were murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich, Germany, and 70 years since the Soviet liberation of the Nazi death camps in Poland, the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust and subsequent genocides were able to happen.  This summer, Salzburg Global will hold its fourth symposium as part of the Salzburg Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative.  Can the lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides serve as a framework to warn future generations of pending mass atrocities?  Can what we learn from these events help us understand how to take preventive measures in the future? These are some of the questions facing educators, scholars, museum curators, government officials, civil society leaders, educational policymakers and others dealing with the topic.  Since the launch of the Salzburg Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative in 2009, Fellows have learned that a great deal of work on the subject has been undertaken in the European and North American context, but little is known about how these questions are dealt with in the rest of the world.   This summer’s symposium will consider how to bring the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, especially in the world beyond Europe, North America and Israel; ways to teach and build awareness about the root causes of the Holocaust and other genocides, drawing on experiences from around the globe; and strategies to counteract Holocaust and genocide denial and distortion.  The symposium, to be chaired by Dr. Klaus Mueller, European Representative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is part of a multi-year initiative on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, undertaken in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Austrian Future Fund and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
For more information and to register for this year’s symposium see: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/535   For more on UNESCO’s activities relating to Holocaust education see: http://www.unesco.org/new/holocaust-remembrance 
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Salzburg Global mourns the sudden death of Dan Napolitano
Salzburg Global mourns the sudden death of Dan Napolitano
Salzburg Global Staff 
Salzburg Global Seminar was saddened to hear of the death of Dan Napolitano, Director of Teacher Education and Special Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), program partner of the Salzburg Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative. Napolitano, 53, was stricken with a fatal heart attack on Saturday, September 14. Instrumental in planning for the symposium on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention in 2012, Napolitano had been heavily involved in further work of the Initiative, leading additional workshops, helping design future symposia and publications on the topic. He worked for the Museum for thirteen years, prior to which he had taught courses on the Holocaust within the context of theology courses at a Jesuit Catholic High School. He also directed an interfaith program for Jewish, Catholic and Protestant college students entitled “E Pluribus Unum”. As a teacher he received a fellowship with the USHMM and published a small work on “Teaching the Holocaust in a Catholic Setting.” Marie-Louise Ryback, Director of the Salzburg Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative said: “Dan was a great person – enthusiastic, dedicated, kind and a terrific facilitator, teacher and colleague. We have lost a dear friend and colleague, and the profession has lost a great champion of this important cause. He will be greatly missed.” Dan Napolitano leaves his wife Karen, daughter Elena, and sons Max and Ben.
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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