Holocaust-Education Revisted

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"Holocaust Education Revisited"

"Erziehung nach Auschwitz" – "Facing History and Ourselves" – "Shoah und Erziehung" – "Holocaust Education" – "Gedenkstättenpädagogik" – "Humanistic Education": all of these titles insufficiently describe the pedagogical and didactical thoughts about Nazi crimes and the holocaust in our project.

After consideration, our project group decided on using the term "Holocaust Education" with the addition of "revisited". There are two things we are trying to express with this project title. Firstly, we think it is important to connect to the existing experience of teachers today. We collect didactical and pedagogical problems/concepts then consider their relevance for interdisciplinary education. Secondly, the group deliberately tries to align with international concepts and thoughts. This agenda is based on the fact that today’s discussion of literary reports about Nazi crimes increasingly takes place in media and is increasingly international. Memories of these crimes are kept alive by survivors but also by succeeding generations. Further, different audiences will be interested in learning about different memories. "Revisited" does not mean revision or visiting an already finished topic. Instead, the term aims to encourage us to take a closer look into holocaust education, to notice the changes. It points toward the increasing amount of adaptions on survivors’ reports, which are constantly rewritten while being passed down from generation to generation. Further, we consider the places where these crimes happened an opportunity for education; they see an ever-growing stream of international visitors and are also subject to transformation.

We are aware that holocaust is a debatable term as it has pushed people of Jewish identity into a victim role while marginalizing other affected groups of people. We are also aware that with this concept we are aligned with the discussion of other genocides to an extent. We don’t want to eliminate these implications but to use them productively for further discussion of the topic.

"Holocaust Education revisited" describes the educational processes that are associated with places of Nazi violence. We include old and current concepts as well as people taking part in school and non-school related education. "Revisited" – to visit something again also means: rethinking something and recognizing structures of mediation that might not have been consciously observed before. To "revisit" a topic also means bringing one’s awareness to the field while watching and listening carefully. This summarizes how we are creating our theory. This theory will cover: the detachment of the learner from the historic events, the learner´s proximity to places where the injustice happened, and the interplay of detachment and proximity when it comes to victims, perpetrators and followers.