23.01.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Holocaust education to prevent future genocides

© UN Photo/John Isaac Learning from Holocaust to prevent future genocides. Here a make-shift camp n Rwanda (1994).

UNESCO Dakar organizes a debate on 23 January 2012 to promote holocaust education and to understand the ravage that discrimination, prejudies and rascim cause.

The debate via videoconference will take place on the occasion of the International Day to Remember the Holocaust victims, commemorated each year on 23 January.

"Holocaust education is first and foremost to prevent future genocides," says Yao Ydo, chief in UNESCO Dakar for the section devoted to peace education. "It's about learning to understand the consequencs of racisme, antisemitisme and prejudices."

Need a critical stand

Since 2007, UNESCO has been engaged in promoting education to learn about Holocaust; this historic event that put into question the basic principles of human society.

"We need to develop a critical stand to those exercising power as well as to stress the responsiblity of each one of us in the fight against discrimination and human rights violations." Ydo adds.

Reflection on extreme violence

Holocaust education, Ydo says, goes beyond the tragic event during the World War II.

"It gives an opportunity to reflect on all kinds of extreme acts of violence such as slavery, apartheid, genocides such as the one in Rwanda etc, and commenrate all the innocent people involved," he says.

The importance of Holocaust education

Georges Bensoussan, a French historian specialized in the Holocaust, will moderate the video conference. He will speak on the importance and value of Holocaust education beyond Europe.

Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta,  Director of UNESCO Dakar, and Mark Richmond, Director of UNESCO's Division for Peace Education and Sustainable Development in Paris. will also participate in the debate.

Exhibit on Holocaust in Europe

Other participants include government officiels from the countries covered by UNESCO Dakar, as well as researchers and historians.

UNESCO Dakar also hosts an exhibition entitled "The Holocaust in Europe", as part of the commemoration on 23 January.

The debate in Dakar is part of a series of events organized this week in New York and Paris to commenmorate the Holocause victims.

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