How to Teach about the Holocaust - a seminar programme for teachers
Why we want to teach about this theme
The Jewish catastrophe in the Second World War has
been a central theme of humanity since the middle of the last century.
The Jewish catastrophe, which was caused by a failure of all the moral
conventions of our civilisation known hitherto, raised questions about
mankind and society which have not yet been resolved. It has compelled
us to change our perspective on the criterion of good and evil, morality
and immorality. The extent and impact of the change to the world after
the Jewish catastrophe corresponds to the difference in the world before
and after the flood. Studying all the aspects of the Jewish catastrophe
involves studying the motives for carrying out the most extensive mass
murder known to humanity and the consequences thereof. And as the Second
World War recedes further into the past, more and more questions remain
to be answered, or rather to be intensively sought. These are not just
abstract questions, such as whether or not God exists, but specific
historical questions that should be asked.
Last time it was the Jews, who will it be today or tomorrow? Everything that happened in history can be repeated. As a result, the Jewish catastrophe ranks among the universal experiences of humanity.
In conclusion, I would like to quote from Yehuda
Bauer’s books "History of the Holocaust": "We are living
in a time when the Holocaust is possible but not inevitable. The factors
that brought about the Holocaust are still here; these include, for
example, profound hatred, a bureaucracy able and willing to carry out
orders from above, modern technology deprived of moral principles, dictatorship
and war. Who will be the next Jew?"
Arnošt Lustig and
© 2004 - 2008 Jewish Museum in Prague