Seminars for Teachers – Fall 2017

Workshop during a seminar in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led by Miroslav Obstarczyk, photo: Helena Palová.

Workshop during a seminar in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led by Miroslav Obstarczyk, photo: Helena Palová.

A third-tier teacher-training seminar, organized since 2002 in conjunction with the Czech Republic´s Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Terezín Memorial, was held in the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland between October 5 and 8, 2017. An intensive two-day program, complete with extended fact-finding visits to the Auschwitz I. and Auschwitz II – Birkenau camps, was prepared for its participants, teachers who have already passed two levels of the educational seminars focused on teaching about the Holocaust in the Czech Republic. The program also included a presentation of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and lectures devoted to the subject of the SS in the Auschwitz camp and extermination of the Sinti and Roma inmates. During the workshops the teachers had an opportunity to view the Museum´s archives and collections. The attendees described as particularly useful especially the chance to meet their colleagues during such educational projects.
One week later, between October 12 and 15, 2017, the Terezín Memorial hosted a follow-up seminar for Czech and Polish schoolteachers. Its rich program prepared for both the Czech and Polish groups differed in some points, reflecting their general knowledge of the topic. While the Polish teachers opened their program with a lecture on the history of Terezín´s repressive facilities, followed by a visit to the former Terezín Ghetto, their Czech counterparts heard a lecture on health care in the Ghetto after which they went on a special visit to the places in Terezín that are not usually accessible to visitors. Whole group then visited the depository of the Department of Collections of the Terezín Memorial and heard a lecture on the subject of religious life in the Ghetto and the psychological aspects of the Holocaust. One of the highlights of the program was a meeting with Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová, a former Ghetto inmate. The seminar also offered an insight into the history of the Terezín Police Prison in the Small Fortress. Its participants singled out as highly beneficial the opportunity for Czech and Polish schoolteachers to meet and exchange experience gained during their own teaching of this difficult subject.

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