Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal today said holocaust education teaches lessons of history and tolerance.
“Educators play a critical role to help develop the next generation of citizens, not only for each of your respective countries, but for the world.” -Ms. Rosenthal
Ms. Rosenthal said she was thrilled that educators are participating in Centropa program where they have the opportunity to interact with colleagues from 14 countries and learn about the richness of Jewish life and contributions in Europe.
“I hope that in the past week’s workshops, you have been able to focus on the importance of memory, and how modern technologies will help keep those memories alive and meaningful.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She said a month ago, in Lithuania, she spoke to educators there about teaching the Holocaust. She noted that the Holocaust affected Lithuania, as it affected other countries in one way or another. Ms. Rosenthal highlighted that the Holocaust and World War II era is a part of Sarajevo’s historical narrative, just as the contributions of Jews to European society before the Holocaust is a part of history.
“In teaching about the Holocaust, memory plays an invaluable role: memories from survivors, victims, witnesses and perpetrators of the Holocaust have contributed significantly to what we know and understand about the Holocaust. These memories have shaped the way we perceive history and respond to it.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She stressed that the world is facing an inevitable challenge to Holocaust education.
“What will we do when there are no longer survivors, liberators or other eyewitnesses who can recount their firsthand accounts of the Holocaust?” -Ms. Rosenthal
She emphasized that personal testimonies have been an effective tool in Holocaust education over the past several decades.
“As educators, you are each others’ best resources. I am interested in learning about your sessions in Krakow and Vienna, hearing about your cooperation in producing materials that reach the most number of students.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She underscored that as educators, they play one of the most important roles: exposing students to the history, creating a safe space in which to discuss difficult topics, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s youth.
“I discover more and more the importance of educating youth about the Holocaust – teaching lessons of history, teaching tolerance.” -Ms. Rosenthal