Czech-Israel Lecture Series for Teachers

Between 24th – 26th January 2012, there took place the first series of lectures for teachers on Holocaust, Holocaust denial and Holocaust education, thanks to the cooperation of 4 organisations: Israeli Yad Vashem Memorial, Jewish Museum in Prague, the USC Shoa Foundation Institution and the Terezin Memorial.

Within three days, four teachers visited three cities in northern and western Bohemia and three times delivered their presentations to local teachers and students. Among the cities visited were Usti nad Labem, Klasterec nad Ohri and Varnsdorf.

In one cycle, the following speakers representing the above-mentioned organisations gradually introduced themselves: Miriam Mouryc from Yad Vashem, who dealt with issues related to teaching and learning about the Holocaust with an emphasis on the Yad Vashem Memorial. After her, Zuzana Pavlovska from Prague Jewish Museum spoke about a new workshop of the Department for Education and Culture at the Jewish Museum, which was included in their offer of educational programmes to commemorate the 70th anniversary of transports of Protectorate Jews to the Lodz ghetto. The third lecturer was Martin Smok, representing the USC Shoa Foundation Institute. He presented the institute, its foundation and activities, and mainly spoke about a digital archive of 52,000 interviews with Holocaust survivors all around the world. He outlined possibilities of cooperation with the archive and institute. In the second half of his presentation he focused on the immediate situation of Jews from Czechoslovakia after their return from Nazi internment facilities. Finally, Mr. Dalibor Krcmar, historian of the Terezin Memorial delivered his two-part presentation on “Holocaust Denial”. He tried for a clear definition of this phenomenon, spoke about the creation of the denial movement, about main deniers, and about the issue of clear evidence on the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. In Varnsdorf, the last venue for presentations, Mr. Dalibor Krcmar was replaced by the Head of Educational Department of the Terezin Memorial, Mr. Jan Springl, who introduced new projects and activities of his department.

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S příchodem nacistů se mé dětské mysli otevřely podivné obzory. Uvědomil jsem si, že nelze spontánně ctít starosty, radní, duchovní, soudce, učitele, různé přednosty, ale že si naši úctu musí zasloužit. Vždyť někteří z těch, které jsem míval v oblibě, zvedali pravici k poctě vůdce a později pilně vstupovali do komunistické strany. Začal jsem brzy lidi třídit. — Tom Luke, Kolektiv autorů: Pokoj 127, Domov mládeže Q708, Terezín, Gymnázium Plzeň a o.s. HUMR, 2007, s. 89.