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

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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Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative Announce Professional Development Opportunity
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative Announce Professional Development Opportunity
Salzburg Global Staff Writer 
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Salzburg Global Seminar are pleased to invite applications for the International Educator Institute. This professional development opportunity is aimed at those engaged in Holocaust and genocide education residing outside the United States, Canada and Western Europe. The workshop will be held from September 16-20, 2013, at the USHMM in Washington, DC, and is being offered as part of the USHMM and SGS Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative.  The Museum will cover all related expenses. Special consideration will be given to candidates applying from the Middle East and North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. To apply, please visit this website. The deadline for receiving applications is Wednesday, May 1, 2013. For further information please contact: Dan Napolitano or Marie-Louise Ryback.
Ongoing Initiative The Salzburg Global Seminar’s Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Initiative is an ongoing project that has been developed in cooperation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Austrian Foreign Ministry to investigate the links between Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. Within the initiative, there are two programmatic strands: one focused on Holocaust Education (under which this opportunity falls), the other focused on Genocide Prevention. Holocaust Education The Holocaust Education programs have been running since 2010. These have included a series of working group meetings as well as two larger international conferences that have built on the work of the working groups. In 2012, a symposium was held to examine the role of the Holocaust as a reference point for educators around the world who teach about human rights and other genocides. This symposium particularly focused on those countries that were not members of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF).  Participants came from countries as diverse as Mexico, Turkey and South Korea, as well as countries that have suffered their own ethnic violence and genocides, such as Cambodia, South Africa and Armenia, together with countries more commonly associated with Holocaust education, research and commemoration, like Germany, Austria, and the USA, all of which are members of the ITF. The participants discussed not only how they could better teach about the Holocaust and the connected issues of human rights, shared history, prejudice, state and citizen responsibility and the role of democracy, but also what they could learn from this teaching to better understand and learn about and from their own countries’ violent, in some cases genocidal pasts. Genocide Prevention Within this initiative, Genocide Prevention has always been a central point of interest and has been embedded as a conceptual theme and goal in much of the partnered organizations’ work.  In 2012, a multi-year program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, focused exclusively on Genocide Prevention. In September, 2012, the USHMM hosted the first planning meeting for this project. Key experts were involved in this planning meeting to determine the specific case studies that this project will examine, and to shape its development, with Bosnia and Rwanda tentatively proposed as pilot studies to test which approaches including oral histories, archival documents, witness testimonies, and other primary source materials may provide the most effective means toward formulating a methodology in studying, and ultimately preventing other genocides.
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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