What the Holocaust can teach us

© Mémorial de la Shoah/CDJC

“Transmitting the memory of the Holocaust is a vital part of the struggle to combat ignorance and prejudice through education in humanist values, the sharing of cultures and knowledge of history,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO in a declaration on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, 27 January.

Ms Bokova also reaffirmed UNESCO’s determination to combat Holocaust denial. “Education is a key front in this struggle and also UNESCO’s unique contribution, through our work for youth, training of teachers and curriculum design”, said the Director General.

On 23 January French historian Georges Bensoussan will address Holocaust-related  pedagogical challenges in a debate at UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in Africa (Dakar, Senegal) on holocaust education to prevent future genocides. The first of several events UNESCO is organizing around Holocaust Remembrance Day, the discussion will include representatives of civil societies and education ministries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal.

On 27 January, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Samuel Pisar will be officially appointed UNESCO Special Envoy for Holocaust Education. Irina Bokova will then visit the Shoah Memorial in Paris.

On 31 January a conference will be held on “International Dimensions of Holocaust Education” at UNESCO Headquarters, which will also host a special ceremony involving the UNESCO Director-General, Eric de Rothschild (President of the Shoah Memorial), Yehuda Bauer (an Israeli historian) and Henri Borlant (a Holocaust survivor). An exhibition on the Righteous in France will also be held..

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