Seminars for educators

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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Seminar for Czech Teachers in the Israeli Yad Vashem

Participants of the seminar in the Yad Vashem memorial, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.

Participants of the seminar in the Yad Vashem memorial, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.


The fourth-level educational seminar for Czech teachers was held in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem already for the twelfth time. Co-organized by the Yad Vashem, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Terezín Memorial, the seminar was attended by a total of 18 teachers from different types of schools in the Czech Republic.

This seminar lasting several days featured a number of lectures and workshops led by experts in the given subjects. The participants not only learnt many new things, they were also introduced to a methodology for competently presenting this particular topic to their pupils and students at schools back home.

Workshop The Auschwitz album at Yad Vashem led by Yaftach Askenazy, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.

Workshop The Auschwitz album at Yad Vashem led by Yaftach Askenazy, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.


The attendees were particularly attracted and impressed for instance by the lecture delivered by Yeshay Balog on the subject “Substance of Traditional Judaism” or by Dr. Rob Rozett´s lecture “From Anti-Semitism to the Nazi Ideology”. Furthermore, such issues as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, “The Just Among Nations” or life after the war and how to cope with the past were brought up and discussed. Some of the teachers demonstrated to their colleagues their own approach to Holocaust education, sharing with them their experience hitherto. However, the Yad Vashem´s approach to Holocaust education proved to be exceptionally revealing and useful for all the Czech teachers.
During the visit of kibbutz Beit Theresienstadt, November 2016, photo: Jana Švarcová, Památník Terezín.

During the visit of kibbutz Beit Theresienstadt, November 2016, photo: Jana Švarcová, Památník Terezín.


A highly enriching point of the entire seminar was a visit to the Beit Terezín kibbutz, lying some 60 kms northwest of Jerusalem. During a guided tour we learnt many interesting facts about its history, establishment as well as current life of its inhabitants. We were also highly impressed by the colourful narrative of Mrs. Ruth Meisner, a Holocaust survivor, who had come from Czechoslovakia, was imprisoned in the Terezín Ghetto during World War II and moved to Israel after the war.

In an effort to deepen the participants´ knowledge of the local culture and the history of Israel the visit came complete with guided tours of Jerusalem’s Old Town, the ancient fortress of Masada and the Dead Sea. In the evening on Friday the seminar participants had a unique opportunity, as part of the evening prayers, to take a look at one of the local synagogues.

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Seminar for Polish teachers

Debate with the witness of the Terezín ghetto, Mrs. Eva Štichová, photo: Terezín Memorial

Debate with the witness of the Terezín ghetto, Mrs. Eva Štichová, photo: Terezín Memorial

A seminar for Polish teachers was under way in the former Magdeburg Barracks in Terezín between June 10 and 12, 2016. Organized by the Terezín Memorial, together with the Polish organizations Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and IPN (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej), the seminar was held for the fourth year running.

The key purpose is to familiarize its participants with the issues of Terezín viewed from several different angles. Needless to add, the program came complete with a detailed historical lecture devoted to the Holocaust in the Czech lands and visits to the former Ghetto and the former Gestapo Police Prison. In this respect, a natural highlight of the seminar was a debate with Mrs. Eva Štichová, a Terezín Ghetto survivor.

The program also included the subject of the controversial postwar perception of the Holocaust not only in Czechoslovakia but also in Poland and in other countries in the world. A very interesting item on the agenda was the traditional lecture tracing the history of the Terezín Memorial since its foundation to the present day, supplemented with presentations of the Memorial’s educational activities.

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Seminars for teachers ”How to teach about the Holocaust“

Workshop done by the Museum of the Romani Culture, Brno during the seminar „How to teach about the Holocaust?“, 2016, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

Workshop done by the Museum of the Romani Culture, Brno during the seminar „How to teach about the Holocaust?“, 2016, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.


Seminar for elementary and secondary school teachers called How to Teach About the Holocaust was held in Prague´s Jewish Museum and in the Terezín Memorial already for the 16th times. Run in two cycles (between February 19 and 21 and from March 4 to 6), the seminar was attended by more than 100 teachers. Each three-day program covered lectures on the Jewish settlement in Bohemia and Moravia (complete with sightseeing visits to Prague’s Jewish Town), on anti-Semitism, on the psychological aspects of genocide, the Terezín Ghetto and the Romany Holocaust. One of the highlights of the program was a meeting with former Terezín Ghetto inmates (namely Hana Hnátová and Dagmar Lieblová in the first series, Eva Štichová and Lisa Miková in the second one).

Result of teacher's work from workshop of dr. Jana Jebavá, the seminar „How to teach about the Holocaust?“, 2016, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

Result of teacher’s work from workshop of dr. Jana Jebavá, the seminar „How to teach about the Holocaust?“, 2016, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.


The program also included three different workshops out of which participants were free to choose one. These included a fine art-cum-dramatic workshop led by Dr. Jana Jebavá, based on the Biblical theme of Judith, a courageous women of the Antiquity whose story in a specific way also presages the topic of the Shoa. Furthermore, the program offered a workshop prepared by employees of the Terezín Memorial’s Department of Education called From a Number to a Name. Employing biographical approach and techniques as well as aesthetic methods, this workshop sought to portray the fate of some of the people who had passed through Terezín. The last workshop was prepared by the Museum of Romany Culture in Brno. In its course, the teachers had an opportunity to get hands-on experience of what the above-mentioned institutions offer to their pupils in their educational seminars.

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