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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Child survivors of the Holocaust filmed during the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army, January 1945 (Photo source: Wikipedia)27 January 2014 -- The United Nations has designated 27 January as an annual International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On this date in 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated by Soviet Red Army troops.

Auschwitz, in southern Poland, was the biggest Nazi death camp. Up to 6 million Jews, as well as hundreds of thousands of others deemed undesirable due to ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, or other reasons were murdered during the Holocaust.

Every member nation of the U.N. has an obligation to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and develop educational programs as part of an international resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide. This year's theme is "Children and the Holocaust" and film screenings, exhibits and talks sharing children's stories during that era are being shared to spread awareness of their experiences.

Sources: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research

Selected learning materials

Excursion to the past-teaching for the future: Handbook for teachers
This handbook is a point of reference for teachers in European Union countries who conduct class visits to Holocaust museums and sites. The handbook suggests methods for integrating Holocaust education with human rights education and provides exercises and examples of how visits to memorial sites and museums dealing with the Holocaust can provide students with a concrete picture of the possible consequences of failing to respect human rights.

"Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust" in Teaching about the Holocaust: A Resource Book for Educators
This guide provides methodological guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust. It also addresses questions about why to teach Holocaust history and offers suggestions on how to incorporate the study of the Holocaust into existing courses such as world history, government/civics, philosophy and literature.

Learning from the Past: Supporting Teaching through the Facing the Past History Project in South Africa
This article presents an innovative professional development project, Facing the Past-Transforming Our Future, designed to support teachers in the introduction of the new South African history curriculum and, in particular, the 9th grade history requirement to teach human rights issues during and after WWII. Two major components of the 9th grade content framework are Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and apartheid South Africa.

Preparing Holocaust Memorial Days: Suggestions for Educators
This teacherís guide provides tips for educators on planning and observing annual Holocaust Remembrance Days in participating OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) states. It is intended for high school teachers. The guide includes practical suggestions for commemoration activities and projects and gives examples of best practise from the OSCE region.

International treaties about the prevention of genocide:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)

Useful links

Anne Frank House

Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Yad Vashem

Organisations involved in Holocaust education and research



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