International Conference on Education and the Holocaust
The 2015 and 2017 ICEH have led to the successful development and implementation of country-specific initiatives in 16 countries. The initiatives, tailored to the respective national context, effectively contributed to the advancement and institutionalization of education about the Holocaust and genocide in all participating countries. UNESCO and the USHMM supported the country teams in the development and implementation of their projects through regular exchanges, technical guidance and resources.
The design of each project is determined by each team’s professional expertise and country-specific challenges. All projects contributed to increasing the visibility, impact, and productivity of education about the Holocaust and genocide and strengthening the national discourse about the Holocaust. To this end, the projects incorporated activities such as curriculum development and revision, creation of educational materials, capacity-building initiatives, cultural projects, academic initiatives and pedagogical research.
The projects were implemented by the country team members in cooperation with identified local key partners, including for instance UNESCO Field Offices, and run for approximately one year.
Projects implemented as part of the 2017 ICEH
Argentina: Training teachers to work with memory sites and collective maps to educate about the Holocaust and genocide
In Argentina, the Education & Memory Program of the National Ministry of Education, the Human Rights Free Chair of the University of Buenos Aires, the ESMA Memory Site Museum and the Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum have organized three training seminars for teachers in October and November 2018 on how memory sites can contribute to teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides. Building on the outcomes of these seminars, the project teams is developing a teachers’ guide. Lean more.
Colombia: Learning about the Holocaust to foster peace building
In Colombia, the, National Center of Historical Memory and the Casa de la Memorial Museum worked together to introduce education about the Holocaust and genocide as a means to strengthen the peacebuilding process in Colombia. The project was based on a case study of displaced person (DP) camps in Germany after the Second World War, which informed workshops for educators on confronting trauma through education and served to develop educational materials and recommendations. The outcomes of the project were presented at an international conference in November 2018 in Medellin. Learn more.
Indonesia: Teacher trainings on Education about the Holocaust
In Indonesia Sanata Dharma University, State University of Malag and the Center for Development of Early Childhood and Community Education West Java cooperated to organize two teacher trainings in July and October 2018 on teaching the Holocaust in Indonesian schools. The workshops involved teachers and students from several regions. Some of the school projects developed by high school students were presented at the second workshop. Learn more about the project and the second workshop. In direct follow-up to his participation in the ICEH, project team member Baskara T. Wardaya published an Indonesian essay collection on genocide and memory in January 2021.
Mexico: Developing open source educational materials
In Mexico, the Latin American Faculty of Social Science, the Ibero-American University, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National Institute for Education Evaluation worked together to introduce Holocaust, Genocide and Democratic Education as a new field of study in middle school education in Mexico. The team developed educational materials and study guides for middle school teachers in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. As part of the project, the team organized a series of lectures and workshops under the theme “70+70- Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” in November 2018 in Mexico City. Learn more about the project and the project outcomes.
Namibia: Addressing Namibia’s violent past
In Namibia, the Museums’ Association of Namibia has developed the first Namibian exhibition on the 1904 genocide against the Herero and Nama, entitled “The Ovaherero and Nama Genocide- Learning from the Past”, accompanied by a teachers’ handbook, pending for release. Learn more
The Namibian team has further partnered with the South African team to bring the USHMM exhibition “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” to Namibia in 2019. Learn more.
South Africa: Learning about the Nazi regime’s “science of race”
In South Africa, the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation displayed the USHMM exhibition “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” in five South African cities in cooperation with its regional Holocaust and Genocide Centers and local universities. The team facilitated guided visits for school groups and workshops for diverse adult groups that focused on Nazi racial ideology and its links to colonial anthropology in Namibia and the history of Apartheid in South Africa. Learn more
The project was carried out in partnership with the Namibian team. In February 2019, the exhibition moved to Namibia.
Tunisia: Learning about the dangers of propaganda and Tunisia’s past during World War II
In Tunisia, teachers and researchers from Manouba University and other institutions in Tunisia have developed a project on the history of Nazi propaganda linked to the exhibition “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda”, initially created by the USHMM. The Tunisian team has displayed the exhibition in English, French and Arabic. The project also addressed the history of Tunisia during the time of the German occupation and the history of the Tunisian Jewish community through exhibitions, film screenings and book presentations, as well as workshops for educators and students.
Ukraine: Museums as places to address traumatic pasts
In Ukraine, the Babi Yar Memorial Center, the Holodomor Research and Education Center, Odessa National University, Taras Shevchenko National University and Dnipro National University cooperated to hold a workshop in Kyiv to discuss memorial challenges regarding the Holocaust in Ukraine and their lessons for other cases in Ukrainian history. The workshop was held in November 2018 and brought together specialists in memorializing traumatic pasts, individuals responsible for implementing memory policy, academics, professors, artists, civil servants, civil and human rights NGO activists, and memorial/museum staff. Learn more.
Projects implemented as part of the 2015 ICEH
- Chile: Organization of teacher trainings on education about the Holocaust and human rights
- Hungary: Organization of workshops for students about concepts of complicity and collaboration leading to the development of their own travelling exhibitions. Read this article to learn more about the project.
- India: Organization of the first international academic conference on mass atrocities and education about the Holocaust in India, leading to several publications
- Lithuania: Organization of teacher trainings and school events on researching the role of local rescuers during the Holocaust
- Mexico: Development of materials for teachers in support of teaching and learning about resilience and resistance during the Holocaust
- Republic of Korea: Development of the first teacher’s guide on Education about the Holocaust in the Korean context
- Rwanda: Organization of teacher trainings to raise awareness about the Holocaust in Rwandan schools
- Turkey: Organization of student seminars on the history of the Holocaust and other atrocity crimes
- Cross-regional Chilean-Mexican initiative: Organization of seminars to raise awareness about the importance of strengthening education on genocide and mass atrocities among political figures.
To learn more about these projects, please consult the ICEH 2015-2017 Achievements Report.