Autumn Seminars for Schoolteachers

Seminar attendees during their visit to Beit Terezin, November 2017.

Seminar attendees during their visit to Beit Terezin, November 2017.

The 13th educational seminar was held at the turn of October and November 2017 in the Jerusalem memorial Yad Vashem. Co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth of the Czech Republic and the Terezín Memorial, the seminar was attended by 18 Czech schoolteachers.

Its program, aimed at broadening the participants´ knowledge of the various aspects of Holocaust history, and at introducing them to the current teaching methods on the Holocaust, consisted of a number of lectures and hands-on workshops. The specialized section of the program was opened by Professor Yehuda Bauer who delivered a lecture headlined The Holocaust and Genocide in the 21st Century, followed by lectures given by other experts, primarily from Yad Vashem. During presentations of the results of their own teaching methods on the topic under discussion, some of the seminar participants set forth their educational projects, sharing with other schoolteachers the educational models applicable at Czech schools.

An integral part of the annual program is a series of activities taking place outside Yad Vashem. This time these included guided sightseeing visits to the Masada Fortress, Jerusalem´s Old City, a short visit to Sabbath celebrations in a synagogue etc. A truly unforgettable experience of the seminar was a visit to the Beit Terezin Memorial. Its participants had an opportunity to view there, among other items, some of the museum´s collections, and attended a debate with Mr. Peter Lang, survivor of the Terezín Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps.

Scene from the pupil´s film Klíč (The Key).

Scene from the pupil´s film Klíč (The Key).

Between November 23 and 26, 2017, the Terezín Memorial played host to the 17th International Seminar Holocaust in Education, held jointly by the Memorial and the Czech Republic´s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. It was attended by 52 Czech schoolteacher who, as compared with the first-level seminar, had a chance to attend lectures and model workshops led by lecturers not only from Czech institutions (charity organization People in Need, the Jewish Museum in Prague), but also by lecturers from abroad (the Israeli memorial Yad Vashem, Poland´s Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, the Heroic Imagination Project, the German House of the Wannsee Conference, the Anna Frank House in the Netherlands, and the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences).

The program also featured presentations of the participants´ own projects or examples of the works made by pupils from the Trmice elementary school who, under the guidance of their teachers Jindřiška Waňková and Jitka Löblová, succeeded, for instance, in shooting animated films on the topics in hand. During an evening cultural program the seminar attendees could watch the full-length film Daleká cesta (Long Journey, 1948), performance of the Disman Radio Children´s Ensemble with the opera Brundibár and Jaroslav Achab Hailder´s theater performance Mr. Theodor Mundstock.

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