1 year ago



Holocaust. As we move

Holocaust. As we move further and further in time away from the events of the Holocaust, it becomes increasingly important that pedagogy adapt, not only to reflect new historical findings and context, but also to stay abreast of student needs and curriculum changes. HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE 14 Karen Shawn, a visiting associate professor of Jewish education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University, opens this collection with a poignant and personal essay on the importance of artefacts. She connects these items to individual narratives demonstrating a multifaceted approach to education. Her insights into the power of everyday objects to serve as triggers for deeper learning experiences are certain to resonate with many readers. UK-based Kay Andrews offers innovative strategies for incorporating the voices of survivors into the learning experiences. Andrews challenges us to listen, contextualize and interpret the recorded accounts of those who survived the Holocaust. Utilizing the holdings of the USC Shoah Foundation, Andrews provides insight into working with recorded testimony to engage new generations of learners. This opening section is rounded out by Karen Polak, immediate past-Chair of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Committee on the Genocide of the Roma and a senior staff member of the International Department of the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands. She invites us to explore teaching about the genocide of the Roma during the Holocaust. Too often neglected, this topic provides important insights and strategies for incorporating the fate of the Roma as part of Holocaust education. Section two provides readers with a series of three concise, historically focused essays that offer insights into the foundational components of teaching the Holocaust. Together, these articles provide readers with an important opportunity to broaden our understanding of how the Holocaust is an event that transcends traditional geographic and national borders. The authors aptly demonstrate how the Holocaust has had a global reach and at its core, is the fate of European Jewry. Doris L. Bergen, the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, reminds us that the Holocaust is in fact world history. Consequently, the Holocaust remains a topic of global interest, even in countries not directly impacted by the effects of the Holocaust. Robert Jan van Pelt, a university professor at the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Canada, discusses the pre-eminent role that the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau has played and continues to play, in contemporary Holocaust consciousness. Van Pelt encourages us to situate the importance of the concentration camp network within the greater context of Nazi atrocities. Finally, Emily Amie Witty, an assistant professor of education at the Touro Graduate School of Education in New York City, reminds us that at its essence, the Holocaust is a Jewish tragedy that has come to affect the entire world. She warns us that attempts to universalize the Holocaust frequently result in a

de-Judaization of the Holocaust, and reminds us that the Jewish experience—as a group of people targeted for annihilation who struggled to maintain some degree of agency in the midst of Nazi aggressions, as victims, and finally as a surviving remnant who struggled to rebuild lives—must remain an integral component of the pedagogy. The third section offers educators examples of best practices in the field of Holocaust education. Austrian historian and pedagogical expert Martin Hagmayr, who is affiliated with Castle Hartheim and the Museum Arbeitswelt, provides insightful and thought provoking examples of teaching about the Nazi, so-called euthanasia program. In what was Nazi Germany’s first orchestrated program of mass murder, it became a prelude to the Holocaust. Hagmayr’s expertise in this area offers readers a sensitive means to approach this topic and encourage critical thinking skills in students. Carson Phillips, Managing Director of the Neuberger, discusses the role of photographs as primary source documents and a tool for learning about the past. Whether they are used to tell a narrative, or to contextualize specific aspects of Holocaust history, photographs offer learners a visual window into historical events. Thoughtfully deconstructed, they can encourage students to expand their research, analytical and critical thinking skills. Lauren Granite, North American Education Director for CENTROPA discusses new ways to teach about Jewish life and the Holocaust. Using primary and secondary source material from CENTROPA’s vast photograph and video archive, she show us and how to adapt pedagogical methods to an everchanging classroom. Finally, the publication concludes with an article I co-wrote with Emily Amie Witty. We are professional colleagues, individually involved in Holocaust education for 20 years. Together, we combine our knowledge and skills to offer insights into some of the most common myths, misconceptions, and questions that arise in teaching the Holocaust. Whether it is discussing pedagogical techniques, resources or deconstructing erroneous myths, we provide strategic and useful insights into issues that frequently arise in classroom as well as public education settings. 15 HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE The Neuberger welcomes your feedback by email at We hope that you find this publication to be intellectually stimulating, informative, and useful in your research and teaching.

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