The fourth edition of the Summer School on Teaching about the Holocaust has finished. The project is addressed to teachers, students, trainers and leaders of non-governmental organizations that deal with the subject of the Holocaust from all over Poland. The goal is to widen knowledge about how to teach about the Holocaust through an enriching educational workshop and make contact with other teachers easier.
— For me it was a really great opportunity to gain practice, which I hope to use in further work — Agnieszka Iwińska from the University of Wroclaw Department of Jewish Studies emphasized. — I think that this is a very good program; I would very much like that as many teachers from all over Poland took part in it. I recently met with the survivors of the Holocaust and for the first time in life I had a serious problem doing an interview with the second man, I did not know how and what I should say, because I was not prepared practically. Theoretically very well, but not practically - Agnieszka Iwińska added.
— It is often the case that teachers have vast knowledge, but they lack in the ability to share that knowledge – says Katarzyna Meroń from the Centre for Holocaust Studies at the Jagiellonian University- They don’t know which method to use and which words to choose while speaking about such a delicate subject, that is what we want to teach them. This is what we have taught for four years now- noted Katarzyna Meroń, co-organizer of the School.
Sixty participants took part in the fourth Summer School. Among the lecturers were eminent scholars on the subject, academics, and experts from the U.S. and Poland. They shared their knowledge with participants about how to teach about the Holocaust and which materials to use.
I think that teachers are a fantastic vehicle for good information, positive messages, and it is such schools that should be organized for the benefit of the development of Polish-Jewish relations — Agnieszka Iwińska said.
Summer School on Teaching about the Holocaust
The program is a joint venture of Polish institutions: Center for Holocaust Research at the Jagiellonian University, Jagiellonian University European Institute, International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust at the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, and U.S. partner the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Skokie, Illinois, USA. One of the sponsors is the Claims Conference. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
The mission of the Summer School for Teaching about the Holocaust is to build a fair, open and tolerant society by integrating the teaching of the Holocaust into the Polish educational system. The joint Polish-American Educational initiative is all the more timely and necessary in a time when more and more often we become witnesses to the reemergence of nationalist and racist slogans.