08.02.2018 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Seminar in Chile seeks to strengthen Holocaust education and the formation of a robust citizenship

Foto: Museo Interactivo Judío de Chile

This is the second part of an event that began in Mexico and is one of the actions that was committed to at the Conference for International Holocaust Education.

The event is part of a project financed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and is sponsored by UNESCO.

The Jewish Interactive Museum of Chile organized the international seminar “Holocaust and Citizenship,” which took place on 22 January in Santiago, Chile. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness among opinion leaders of the importance of implementing education programs to prevent genocide, particularly programs on the Holocaust and citizenship development.

At the event, the issue of the Holocaust was presented as a point of reference for examining the connections between violence, the weakening of democracy, justice, and human rights. The seminar featured important representatives of academia, the field of education, civil society, and the Chilean government.

This is the second part of an event which was held in Mexico with the support of that country’s Memory and Tolerance Museum and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Both seminars are part of the monitoring actions of the Conference for International Holocaust Education organized by UNESCO and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The project is financed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and is sponsored by UNESCO.

The seminar featured Nicolás del Valle, Assistant Program Specialist with the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago). Del Valle highlighted the importance of this binational activity: “Like Mexico, Chile is part of the UNESCO Latin American Network for Education on the Holocaust and Other Genocides and is developing national initiatives regarding these matters. Teaching on these topics is essential for promoting reflection on the past that allows for a culture of peace and human rights to be valued as the basis for democracy and sustainable development,” he said.

The organizers of this initiative will draft a publication during 2018 with contributions from both meetings to expand their scope.

Education about the Holocaust and genocide

UNESCO recognizes that teaching Holocaust history is essential to promoting respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the values of tolerance and mutual respect. UNESCO encourages UN member states to create educational programs that transmit Holocaust memory to future generations to prevent future atrocities. To that end, it provides pedagogical materials and a platform so that institutions, teachers, students and other interested parties can access teaching resources related to the topic.

UNESCO also participates in national activities on these topics. On 1 February 2018, Cecilia Barbieri, the lead official and interim representative of the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago), attended the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Chile’s former Congress building. The ceremony, which was organized under the slogan “The World Calls for Inclusion, Tolerance, and Brotherhood,” was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jewish Community in Chile, and B’Nai B’rith.

During the event, Chilean diplomat Samuel Del Campo, who served as consul in Romania, was honored. Between 1941 and 1943, Del Campo saved approximately 1,400 Jews by offering them Chilean documentation with special seals that offered them protection.

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