The workshop entitled ”The Psychological Roots of Anti-Semitism“ is based on the outcome of a research project carried out by social psychologists who examine the psychological processes leading to extreme forms of violence towards different groups of society. In the course of the workshop, its attendees were introduced to such terms as stereotype, division of people into groups (social categorization), and prejudice. Equipped with thus acquired findings, the participants should be able to understand how could ”ordinary“, educated and –in their previous lives – “moral“ people turned into perpetrators of evil, which culminated in the mass murders of Jews in gas chambers. At the same time, they should be able to explain why the Jews in particular came to be a persecuted group in Europe. The seminar participants will also be acquainted with other factors co-generating an environment conducive to the outbreak of wars and genocide. The methodological basis of the workshop is the method of value education, based on open communication, work in a group proceeding from joint decision-making, as well as search for one´s own answers in a process teaching students to cultivate their inner values and attitudes.
Working sheet with the features of the region, Educ. dept. Of the Terezin Memorial.
Basically, there are two types of worksheets newly available for study during the educational programs for elementary schools and lower grades of high schools at the youth seminars, prepared by the Memorial´s Department of Education.
The first kind of the new worksheets serves for interconnecting the region in which the individual students live with the former Terezín Ghetto. At their disposal are 15 worksheets relating to the individual assembly points in the former Protectorate from which Jewish transports were leaving for the Terezín Ghetto.
Working sheet with the features of the region, Educ. dept. Of the Terezin Memorial.
One specific worksheet is also devoted to the border regions seized by the German Third Reich following the Munich diktat. The students will be given a copy of a transport list with the task of finding for themselves, under a specific number, one person about which they will try to get more information from the available personal documents or Holocaust survivors´ testimony.
The other type of worksheet has been prepared for work during visits to the former Ghetto and is focused on providing additional information on the Ghetto´s key functions – notably as a reception and transit facility, as a decimation camp, and a source of Nazi propaganda. To be found in the worksheet will be various documents, excerpts from the Ghetto´s youth magazines and diaries, paintings made in the Ghetto, photographs etc. The pictorial section is supplemented with assignments relating to the given pictures, all this helping to recreate the atmosphere of the Ghetto.
View of the electronic version of The Database of the Czech Inmates of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937-1945, May 2017
In 2011 and 2012 the Terezín Memorial’s Newsletters (issues Nos. 2/2011 and 4/2012) briefed on the newly prepared search engines for finding persecuted people. These search engines are now available on the Terezín Memorial website. At the same time, we informed our readers of the possibility of searching for such data also in the English language.
Since then three new databases have been added to the website. We would like to single them out for our readers, both experts and laymen. They are as follows:
Database of the Inmates of the Prague-Pankrác German Interrogation and Detention Prison in Terezín 1945
Database of the Inmates of the Branches of the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp in the Czech Territory
Database of the Czech Inmates of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937-1945
The employees of the Terezín Memorial’s Department of History in particular were involved in researching and excerpting these data. Their key intention was to make the available data from the prisoner cards accessible to the public and gradually to use other sources, thus eventually expanding the database. In the future, the individual search engines can be interconnected, including publication of the sources used directly online on the web pages. The process of compiling new and supplementing existing databases has not yet been finished. Information on the inmates is being constantly updated, while new databases are being created.
We would like to draw your attention to the announcement of a new pupil and student project of the Terezín Memorial and its partners: the Terezín Initiative Institute and the National Pedagogical Museum and Library of J. A. Comenius in Prague, presented under the title Schoolchild in the War Years. The project is more-leveled, students and pupils can join a research competition and explore the history of schools in their area within 1938 – 1945, or if they wish to address the topic in an artistic way, they can register for the art competition of the Terezín Memorial under the same theme.
Young researchers will have the opportunity to present their work before an audience at a conference devoted to this issue and to share their knowledge and experiences. In case of IT skills, they can create a website to publish their findings. The different parts of the project will be continuously published, watch the websites and Facebooks of the aforementioned organizations.
Comenius EduMedia Medal for the project Schoolchild in the Protectorate
German Scientific Society for Pedagogy and Information (Die Gesellschaft für Pädagogik und Information e.V., www.gpi-online.de) dealing in multimedia, educational technology and possibilities of using media in didactics, has been since 1995 awarding prizes to the best achievements in education based on the use of information and communication technologies. Awards are granted in several categories. Among the awarded projects are for example educational CD-ROMs, educational websites, multimedia encyclopaedias, dictionaries, audio-books, projects for radio, television and theatre, computer games focusing on the development of sensorimotor skills and others.
Comenius-EduMedia Award Ceremony, Berlin, 20th June 2013
In 2013, the Comenius-EduMedia award ceremony took place in the Berlin European House for the eighteenth time already. The jury had assessed more than 170 educational products from all over Europe and the USA. The Comenius-EduMedia-Siegel award was granted to 129 projects according to various criteria. Out of these, the jury selected the very best projects, which then received one more award of a higher standard, a Comenius-EduMedia-Medaille. In 2013, the medal has been awarded to 16 European projects.
Among the projects awarded with Comenius-EduMedia medal was this year also the new educational Memorial website “Being a Pupil or a Student in the Protectorate“ (see Newsletter 1/2013). This award is very gratifying for us and we hope that the website of “Schoolchild” will become a useful tool in teaching at schools or will serve those interested in the school time history at the time of the Protectorate.
The project Schoolchild in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia aims to give young people and adults insight into the reality of the Nazi totalitarian regime in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia using examples of their everyday life, or of their past, the school environment. Its main objective is to enable the youth, in particular, to compare the present situation with the practice of the totalitarian regime and to stress values of democracy. In addition to showing the general situation in the Protectorate education, the project also deals with specific manifestations of extreme repression against the Czech school children during the WWII, in which the Terezín Police Prison in the Small Fortress was involved (for more see the Newsletter 4/2011).
Working sheets for the permanent exhibition placed in the Museum in the Small Fortress
There are three main outcomes of the project work. The first is the workshop “Schoolchild in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia“, which focuses on the activities of the Gestapo prison in the Small Fortress in persecution of school children in context of overall occupants´ approach to education and life in the Protectorate. Methodically, the workshop is supplied in two versions: for pupils of Czech basic schools aged 12-15, and for secondary school students and apprentices of 16-18 years of age. If required by teachers, the workshop can be included in the schedule of school groups which come to the Terezín Memorial for seminars organized by the education department. The second project outcome is a set of worksheets for independent work in the exhibition of the SmallFortressMuseum designed for Czech school groups which come to the Terezín Memorial for excursions not organized by the education department and whose teachers wish to enrich the regular museum tour with a team activity.
Website of the project “Schoolchild in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia”
The third and main project outcome is the website. This website is divided into two parts: the first one is primarily intended for teachers so that they could find here a number of supportive materials if they decide to teach on the Protectorate totalitarian regime using the example of education. There are also methodical sample lessons, accompanied by rich didactic material (testimonies of survivors in written and film forms, photographs, historical documents, worksheets, etc.). The second part of the website is designed mainly for school children, however, anyone is welcome to enter. Using simple distribution means, every schoolchild of certain age and type of school can get to a section dedicated to the school which they would attend if in the Protectorate. The texts written with respect to users´ age are complemented by didactically processed visual material and historical audio recordings of that time. The material comes not only from the collections of the Terezín Memorial, but also from other 18 institutions, as the website work is the result of several year research and liaison with many archives and museums in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. The project was implemented with financial support from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, of which the Terezín Memorial is an accredited member.
Memorial for the remembrance of the death march in Horni Chribska, mass grave, photo: Jan Špringl
In the course of 2011 the first part of work on a new Memorial’s project called “Tracing Little Memorials” was concluded. The objective of the project is to gradually document the current state of former Nazi camps and mass graves of Nazism victims in the Czech lands and check on the presence of little memorials/plaques which would commemorate their existence. Acquired information is then published on a special website launched in early 2012 (http://zapomnicky.pamatnik-terezin.cz/ – only in Czech version).
The project aims to draw attention to less known places of suffering of Nazism victims, to increase public awareness on the danger of Nazi ideology and totalitarian regimes in general, and last but not least, to deepen the historical knowledge of the population living in the monitored sites. The findings should also serve professionals engaged in this topic, memorial culture and places of historical memory, as well as teachers who can use them for school work.
The survey was first conducted through municipal and town authorities in the monitored areas. Their workers were asked by a questionnaire to answer questions concerning the current state of certain objects of our interest and to provide photographic documentation. Many times we gained contacts to other local institutions or individuals from among survivors or regional investigators interested in the topic. We also contacted some selected regional museums, schools, etc. The collection and verification of the information in this way was going on in the first half of 2011.
After exhausting all possibilities to obtain data by mail, the next step for selected professionals of the Terezin Memorial was to take trips to places which had failed to collect any current data or which had not provided any photographic documentation. By the end of 2011, the above methods helped to collect information about approximately 200 sites of former Nazi camps and mass graves.
The above described research carried out during the past year was financially supported by the Endowment Fund for Victims of the Holocaust. Exploratory work should now be followed up by educational one. A certain by-product of the project should also be raising a public discussion about possible installation of little memorials and commemorative plaques in places where they are still missing. In this case we have already achieved partial success, as the project has inspired the Borough of Prague 6 to unveil a plaque at the castle Jeneralka.