Seminars for educators

Seminar How to Teach about the Holocaust

Art-dramatic workshop for teachers, seminar „How to teach about the Holocaust“, spring 2018.


The 18th seminar How to Teach about the Holocaust was held this year in the Jewish Museum in Prague and in the Terezín Memorial. The three-day seminar, attended by some seventy teachers form Czech elementary and secondary schools, was held in two rounds (from February 23 to 25, and from March 9 to 11).

Its participants heard lectures on the history of Jewish settlements in Bohemia and Moravia, on the Terezín Ghetto, on the psychological aspects of genocide, on the Roma Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and naturally on the methods of teaching about the Holocaust. The program came complete with three workshops introducing samples of activities offered by the Terezín Memorial and the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno, plus guided sight-seeing tours of Prague´s Jewish Town, the former Terezín Ghetto, and the former Gestapo Police Prison in the Small Fortress. A genuine highlight of the whole event may be seen in the participants´ meeting with the former Terezín Ghetto inmates Hana Hnátová and Helga Hošková.

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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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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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Seminars for Teachers ”How To Teach About the Holocaust“

The 18th seminar How To Teach About the Holocaust for Czech elementary and secondary schoolteachers was held in Prague’s Jewish Museum and in the Terezín Memorial. Attended by 82 schoolteachers, the seminar was held in two terms (from March 17 to 19 and from March 31 to April 2). The three-day event comprised lectures on the Jewish settlement of Bohemia and Moravia (complete with sightseeing in Prague’s Jewish Town), on anti-Semitism, psychological aspects of genocide, the Terezín Ghetto and the Roma Holocaust. The participants could also choose from three different workshops aimed at presenting various methods used in teaching about the Holocaust at their own schools. A highlight of the program was a meeting with two former Terezín Ghetto inmates (Eva Štichová and Bohumila Havránková in the first series, Hana Hnátová and Dagmar Lieblová in the second).

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Seminar for British and Danish Teachers

British and Danish educators in the seminar room in the former Magdeburg Barracks

Seminar for British and Danish schoolteachers was held in the Terezín Memorial between February 17 and 20, 2017 for the third year. The seminar organizers – The Holocaust Educational Trust (Britain), the Danish Institute for International Studies (Denmark), Yad Vashem (Israel) and the Terezín Memorial – prepared a very rich and stimulating program for the participants.

Twenty-nine schoolteachers went on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the former Terezín Ghetto and the former Police Prison in the Small Fortress. The program came complete with a lecture on the history of Terezín given by Mr. Jan Roubínek, Head of the Terezín Memorial’s Department of Documentation. Mr. Zdeněk Lyčka, former Czech Ambassador to Denmark, then presented a compelling narrative describing the fate of Czech children in Denmark and Britain during World War II. Meeting and debate with two former Terezín Ghetto inmates, Dagmar Lieblová and Doris Grozdanovičová, as well as performance of the children’s opera Brundibár presented by the Disman Radio Children’s Ensemble proved to be highly emotional events of the whole program.

The attending teachers took an active part in all the discussions on Holocaust education, on the use of different teaching sources and methods and asked the lecturers many questions. Overall, the course of the seminar was positively evaluated. We can quite definitely look forward to our future cooperation.

International Seminar for Teachers

Christina Chavarria (USA) presents her workshop Approaches to Learning about Holocaust Denial, November 2016, photo: Pavel Straka, Památník Terezín.

Christina Chavarria (USA) presents her workshop Approaches to Learning about Holocaust Denial, November 2016, photo: Pavel Straka, Památník Terezín.

The 16th annual seminar ”Holocaust in Education“, attended by 53 Czech schoolteachers, took place in the Terezín Memorial between November 24 and 27, 2016. While only Czech lecturers teach at the first level of the whole educational cycle called ”How To Teach About the Holocaust“, lecturers from foreign institutions (Israeli Memorial Yad Vashem, Poland’s State Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Oświęcim, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Germany´s Wannsee Conference House, the Anna Frank House in the Netherlands) are invited to its October program. The purpose of these seminars is to introduce Czech schoolteachers to the methodology and perspectives used in teaching about the Holocaust in the above institutions. Still, in keeping with traditions, there were also some domestic lecturers involved; officials of the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Terezín Initiative Institute or the organization People in Need participated, too; Mr. Petr Lhotka spoke about the Roma Holocaust, while lectures were also given by historians from the organizing institution – the Terezín Memorial, namely Jan Roubínek and Vojtěch Blodig.
Participants attending Marie Smutná ´s workshop, Novebmer 2016, photo: Pavel Straka, Památník Terezín.

Participants attending Marie Smutná ´s workshop, Novebmer 2016, photo: Pavel Straka, Památník Terezín.


An inspiring section of the whole program was an exhibition from the works of pupils of the Trmice elementary school near Ústí nad Labem, who worked, under the guidance of their teachers Jindřiška Waňková and Jitka Löblová, on the research within the project “Neighbors Who Disappeared” (The Langweills Who Disappeared). In addition to the presentation of research results, two short cartoon films ensuing from the work on this topic were also screened.

Evenings were devoted to art connected with the Holocaust, and not only works created locally. Apart from the screening of Alfréd Radok´s classical movie Daleká cesta (Long Journey) (1948), mention should be made of Thursday’s performance of the Disman Radio Children’s Ensemble, with Michal Macourek´s piano accompaniment, presenting the children’s opera Brundibár by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister. On Saturday, Czech actor Jaroslav Achab Haidler from the Činoherák Theater in Ústí nad Labem appeared in a one-man performance entitled Mr. Theodor Mundstock, based on the book of the same name written by Ladislav Fuks.

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Seminar for Teachers in the Ravensbrück Memorial on October 6 – 9, 2016

Former hostels of the wardresses in the Memorial Ravensbrück, October 2016, photo: Martin Hemelík.

Former hostels of the wardresses in the Memorial Ravensbrück, October 2016, photo: Martin Hemelík.


For ten years now, the Terezín Memorial has been cooperating with the Ravensbrück Memorial in holding third-level seminars, taking place once in two years in the former Ravensbrück concentration camp. This four-day event, held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, comes complete with a visit to the House of the Wannsee conference.

Its participants saw an exhibition devoted to the subject of the Holocaust, visited the premises where the conference was held back in January 1942, and then they were involved in the workshop focused on the theme: planning and organizing genocide. At the end of the day, the attendees discussed the pedagogical aspects of Holocaust education.

Participants of the seminar in the House of the Wannsee Conference, October 2016, photo: Martin Hemelík.

Participants of the seminar in the House of the Wannsee Conference, October 2016, photo: Martin Hemelík.

They spent the second day of the seminar in the former Ravensbrück concentration camp where, during the morning session, they were introduced to the activities of the local Department of Education. A highlight of the program was a visit to the depositary where archive documents were prepared for the participants to browse through. In the afternoon, the teachers attended a photographic workshop followed by a guided tour of the local exhibition. Time was also reserved for the teachers to get acquainted with the participants´ finished or planned projects and to discuss them. During the seminar, the attending teachers gained a lot of new information and findings, which, in their own words, would definitely prove to be useful for them in preparing interesting lessons or projects for their pupils.

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