Jewish Museum in Prague
to Teach about the Holocaust - a seminar programme for teachers
An international conference entitled “The Holocaust Phenomenon” was held in the Czech Republic on 6-8 October 1999. This conference assessed the current state and results of research into Holocaust education and was launched at Prague Castle by President Václav Havel. One of the most important contributions of the conference was the establishment of cooperation with the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (“ITF”) - an international initiative/alliance of the governments of individual EU members states. This initiative was originally established by the governments of Sweden, the UK and the USA and soon brought on board Germany, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands, France and Italy. The Czech Republic officially joined the initiative at an international meeting in Paris on 24-26 June 2002, together with Litvia and Argentina.
Within the framework of the ITF, the Czech Republic proceeded to the Liaison Project, which included a three-day seminar programme for teachers entitled How to Teach about the Holocaust.
Since 2000 this seminar programme has been organised in association with the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic, the Education and Culture Centre of the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno, the Terezín Memorial and the ITF. The programme is accredited by the Ministry of Education and, so far, has involved the participation of more than 600 Czech teachers.
The seminar programme deals with issues relating to the Jewish faith and the Holocaust in the Czech lands. It starts off at the Education and Culture Centre of the Jewish Museum in Prague with lectures on the history of Jewish settlement in Bohemia and Moravia, a tour of Prague’s Jewish Town and workshops (programme link). The participants then visit Terezín, where the focus is placed on issues related to the Holocaust in general and to the history of the Terezín ghetto. This part of the programme includes a visit to the former Terezín ghetto and the Small Fortress, meetings with Holocaust survivors, and workshops. The third day of the programme is dedicated to the Holocaust and the customs of Romas in the Czech Republic.
Programme participants receive a large amount of teaching material and documentation. At the end of the programme, they are awarded a teacher-educator certificate which enables them to present their newly acquired information and experience to other teachers through various teaching activities.
The programme is significantly financed by the Ministry of Education and the Culture Ministry of the Czech Republic, which means that the organisations involved only have to cover a participation charge of CZK 500 and travel expenses (journey to and from Prague). Accommodation and catering in the course of the programme are included in the price.
The “How to Teach about the Holocaust” programme is a basic-level programme of seminars. Teachers who participate in the programme have the option of signing up for the next stage of seminars which deal with the Holocaust, Holocaust education methods, the fight against racism, and inter-cultural education, which the Terezín Memorial organises with the above-mentioned institutions, both in Terezín and abroad.