1 year ago




HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE 56 Essential to the task that we must set ourselves is a focus on the majority and on mainstreaming education about the history of the genocide. This should include the mechanisms that led up to the genocide, but also an understanding of how many of these mechanisms are still present in contemporary hate speech and discrimination. It is encouraging that many educators are keen to take part in workshops and use the available educational materials in their lessons about the genocide of the Roma. However, it is clear that many are at a loss on how to respond to prejudices. Concrete suggestions for effective educational approaches and professional development opportunities for educators, specifically in dealing with anti- Roma sentiments, are essential. Considering the influential role that the media have, it might be useful to look more carefully at whether students can, by analysing the role of the media, better understand the mechanisms of stereotyping and scapegoating in society. It would also be valuable to promote good practice in the media. However, the first step must be to empower Roma to play a bigger role in education, by creating opportunities to acquire knowledge, develop skills and make possible exchanges between active Roma. A second step is to promote dialogue between Roma and non-Roma educators everywhere, in formal and informal education. This might also lead to more non-Roma educators inviting Roma into their classrooms to meet their students. The many conversations that I have had with Zoni Weisz, a Sinto from the Netherlands, have given me knowledge, insights and most importantly inspiration to work on this topic. His international role in commemorative and educational projects includes speaking to the German Bundestag in 2011 and more recently leading the Auschwitz Requiem project. Commemoration of his family, who perished in the Holocaust, education and dialogue all seem intricately linked. Zoni Weisz was staying with his aunt when in 1944 his parents, sisters and younger brother were arrested during a national round up. He was seven years old at the time. His entire family was taken, via Westerbork, to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Zoni managed to survive the war by going into hiding. But the sudden loss of his family was a trauma he carried with him for the rest of his life. Describing the post-war search for family members and the haunting memory of lost lives he passes on a message to us all: 27 27, short filmed interview under the heading ‘Search’

“… It also shapes your behaviour towards the community. You know the people around you. It also determines how you raise your children. Treat others with respect, do not judge, do not condemn. That’s what it is all about.” Acknowledgements I would like to thank Catherine Mueller, College of Charleston, USA, for her thoughtful comments on this article and invaluable editorial advice. This article is an adapted version of a piece first published in Esteban Acuña, Anna Mirga, Piotr Trojański (eds.), 2015 Education for Remembrance of the Roma Genocide. The role of youth in building collective memory; a publication based on contributions to the conference (July 31-August 1, 2014) Education for Remembrance of the Roma Genocide, part of the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative 2014 “Dikh he na bister”, organised by TernYpe, in partnership with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Pedagogical University in Krakow. 57 HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE

Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative
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