“Auschwitz — history and symbolism”. Czech teachers at the Memorial Site
48 teachers from the Czech Republic involved in teaching about the Holocaust took part in the seminar “Auschwitz – history and symbolism” at the Auschwitz Museum, which was jointly organised by the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and the Terezín Memorial Site.
The guests visited the site of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. “During the study visit, we spoke about the history of Auschwitz, with a particular focus on the family camp for Jews deported by the Germans from the Theresienstadt ghetto, which was established in the BIIb section of Birkenau. The teachers visited, among others, the only surviving barracks in this section, which served as a hospital for women and children brought from Terezín,” said Magdalena Urbaniak from the ICEAH.
The Czech teachers also took part in workshops on camp art, themes concerning the Holocaust and the history of the extermination of the Roma and Sinti as well as lectures on the construction of the crematoria and gas chambers at Auschwitz and the activities of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.;
“Cooperation with the Terezín Memorial Site has been going on for 12 years now. A group of teachers from the Czech Republic come to us for a few days for the seminar every two years. This is important, among others things, due to the presence of Holocaust education in the current curriculum of Czech schools, which is also associated with a relatively high number of visitors to the Auschwitz Memorial Site from this country. In 2012, there were nearly 50,000 people,” said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the ICEAH.
The seminar was held from 3-6 October. The project, organised by the Terezín Memorial, consists of three seminars. The first is organised in Terezín by the local Centre for Education and introduces participants to the subject of the Holocaust. The second part of the project is a seminar at the Auschwitz Memorial Site, which takes place every two years. The last stage is a two-week course at the Yad Vashem Memorial Institute in Jerusalem.