An educational seminar on using videotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors in classroom instruction was held in the Terezín Memorial on June 17 and 18, 2022.This was the second training course of this kind in the past two years.
Attended by 38 Czech schoolteachers, the seminar consisted of lectures and workshops. In his opening morning lecture, Pavel Mücke from the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Charles University´s Faculty of Humanities, discussed the methodological and practical aspects of oral history research. This was followed by Martin Šmok (Open Eye society) and Marcel Mahdal (civic association PANT) lecturing on the methods of using filmed testimonies of Holocaust survivors from the extensive Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, an organization with which both lecturers closely cooperate.
In the afternoon, the seminar continued with a workshop staged by the Terezín Memorial and called Following the Traces of the Terezín Ghetto Memory. This was designed to test how the attendees manage to handle specific didactic tools used during educational programs for schoolchildren, while drawing on the potential of the above Visual History Archive. These materials are also accessible to the public in the USC Shoah Foundation´s mobile app. called IWalk, which is free for downloading. The workshop was led by Terezín Memorial´s lecturers Naděžda Seifertová and Jan Špringl. The final speakers of the program were lecturers Šmok and Mahdal who outlined the first practical steps in creating didactic materials utilizing videotaped testimonies that are available on the Internet platforms of the USC Shoah Foundation.
The seminar is part and parcel of a broader project, initiated by the Hungarian foundation Zachor back in 2019, when the Terezín Memorial, the Bratislava-based Milan Šimečka Foundation, and the Jewish Center in Oświęcim were invited to join in. As part of the IWalks mobile application, materials in Czech and English for curated IWalk tour of the former Terezín Ghetto were made accessible to the public in 2021. At present the project continues with the production of Hungarian, Polish and Slovak language versions of such tours, entitled Visegrad IWalks: Educational Activities and Training to the Digital Local History Walks. Similar tools were also prepared for localities in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The project was financially supported by the International Visegrad Fund.