Lecturers of the Terezín Memorial´s Department of Education have drafted a methodology for a new workshop entitled Mummy, Are We Germans or Czechs?. This is featured among the Department´s educational programs offered to Czech school groups. Its title was inspired by a quote from a letter by Terezín Ghetto inmate Ilse Weber, written to her friend in Britain before the end of the 1930s, still before her imprisonment. She wrote that her son Hanuš had asked her about his own nationality and the national identity of his entire family.
Attendance at this course requires no prior preparation of participating pupils and students. One of its goals is to help attendees in understanding that the actual identity of Holocaust victims could be different from that attributed by the official Nazi administration ensuing from the Nazi Nuremberg Laws. Those who found themselves among the victims included people of other than Jewish religion (eventually atheists) or people who did not espouse the Jewish nationality. Participants are advised and instructed that personal identity is an individual matter, which can be highly variegated and multi-faceted. Another topic under scrutiny is, for instance, the misleading perception of identity and evaluation of people by others on the basis of their names or surnames. With this attitude in mind, attendees are cautioned of the dangers of falling back on prejudices in their reasoning.
As part of the workshop, pupils handle various period sources (e.g. Jewish registration cards) or use video recordings from the archive of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. An important part of the students´ work is a debate on the issues in hand, also as seen in the perspective of potential analogies with the present era.