The “Auschwitz – history and symbolism” seminar

For the fourth time already, a group of 36 Czech teachers took part in the III. grade of seminars for teachers in Auschwitz, organized by the Terezín Memorial along with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Following the opening ceremony was a lecture on the place of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in the Nazi plan of mass extermination. This was followed by a tour of the former Auschwitz I camp. In the afternoon, teachers divided into two groups which took turns participating in three workshops, wherein materials from the museum’s archives were presented to them, they were given access to the museum’s collection, worked with prisoners’ drawings and saw an exhibition on the genocide of European Roma and Sinti. The evening was concluded by screening of film documentaries dealing with the camp.

The next morning, the programme went on with a tour of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp and the Czech national exposition at Auschwitz I. During the afternoon, teachers once again participated in two workshops and lectures on fates of mothers and children in the Auschwitz camp. After the supper, projects by participating teachers were presented. The seminar was concluded with a closing ceremony, with words of gratitude to all institutions involved, the final evaluation and handing over of certificates and books to the participants.

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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.