1 year ago




HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE 40 A few days after first hearing Judy’s story, I spoke to another large audience at an event hosted by the Hamilton Jewish Federation Holocaust Education Committee, the United Roma of Hamilton and Hamilton Police Services. 6 I was again pleased to see that very different organisations were working together to acknowledge the importance of addressing the past in relation to the present. Hate crimes against Roma in Canada sadly echo anti-Gypsyism in Europe. 7 Six months later, on April 8 th 2013, the police and the Roma community in Hamilton got together in recognition of International Roma Day, in a session that offered both communities an opportunity to boost mutual understanding. 8 International Roma Day was designated in 1990. April 8th focuses on the persistent challenges faced by Roma people and highlights the protection and promotion of human rights of all people, but especially the Roma, worldwide. Museum of Romani Culture, Brno Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, a project to create a network of educators and policy-makers to support teaching about the genocide was being launched with a seminar in Eisenstadt, in Austria, in November 2012 9 . Thirty-three educators from thirteen countries met to discuss ways of implementing the teaching materials The Fate of the European Roma and Sinti During the Holocaust in schools, teacher training and informal education. The participants gave detailed feedback and suggestions for improvements 6 Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, November 5, 2012, lecture by Karen Polak, The Forgotten Genocide. The Process of Exclusion and Persecution of Roma and Sinti in Past and Present 7 An important example went to court (R. v. Krymowski) in a case on hate speech triggered by protesters and banners with statements such as ‘Honk if you hate Gypsies’, ‘Canada is not a Trash Can’, and ‘You’re a cancer to Canada’. Roma refugees were associated with a culture of criminality and accused of taking advantage of Canada’s immigration and social services systems in 1997. The defendants also promoted White Power, thus referencing Nazi Germany persecution of the Roma in the Holocaust. See: “R. v. Krymowski”. Judgements of the Supreme Court of Canada. (accessed 28-8-2015) 8 (accessed 28-8-2015) 9 (Austria) was the leading partner in this implementation project, co-funded by the IHRA and the Austrian Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs. The other partners were the Anne Frank House (The Netherlands) and the Museum of Romani Culture (Czech Republic). The first meeting of the project International Conference on Teaching Materials on the Roma Genocide took place from 8-10 November 2012.

of the materials that were subsequently handled by a small pedagogical team led by the main author, Gerhard Baumgartner, and the Austrian organisation The materials were made available in English and German on the website in July 2013, and in a French version in 2014. The materials consist of 80 downloadable pdf sheets and a teachers’ guide. 10 At a follow-up meeting hosted by the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, Czech Republic, in November 2013, twenty-five experts from eleven countries shared their experiences working with the materials and their future plans. Roma NGO experts from Poland, Germany, Serbia, and the Czech Republic provided links with other efforts to raise awareness about the history of the genocide of the Roma and Sinti. The participation of international organisations such as the OSCE/ODIHR, Erionet and TernYpe, as well as institutions with an international outreach, such as Yad Vashem and Living History Forum, gave extra impetus to future international cooperation. This article aims to describe my experiences of several workshops, with different audiences across Europe: from Polish secondary school students and Dutch trainee teachers, to Bulgarian Roma activists and educators with varying experience working on the topic, 11 and offer my conclusions on what priorities we need to set in the educational field. I will also reference several articles from When Stereotype Meets Prejudice. Antiziganism in European Societies, published in 2014, which gave me further insight into recent developments. 12 41 HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE 10 A French version followed in 2014. The Swedish language version of the website is being prepared by Living History Forum (expected launch 2017) and a Kalderash version will also be developed by LHF. The Bratislava based Milan Simecka Foundation is leading a project that aims to develop Slovak, Czech, Polish, Croatian, Romanian, Hungarian and Romani language versions with partners across Europe. 11 The experiences discussed in this article are taken from twenty-eight seminar reports on seminars submitted by educators who met in Eisenstadt and Brno, as well as from eight workshops that I moderated. These eight were all organised by different (international) organisations. They took part in Zagreb, January 2013; Nijmegen, June 2013; Amsterdam, November 2013; Tilburg, January 2014 (with Lalla Weiss); Krakau, August 2014; Budapest, August 2014; Amsterdam, September 2014 (with Karolina Mirga); Graz, April 2015. 12 Temofey Agarin (ed.), 2014 When Stereotype meets prejudice. Antiziganism in European Societies.

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