How best to teach the Holocaust 70 years after liberation

published 27 January 2015 updated 27 January 2015

Education unions from around the world are in Poland to find ways to better teach the Holocaust on the eve of the 70th anniversary marking the liberation of the extermination and concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Education International (EI) and 18 of its union affiliates from 14 countries are in Krakow, Poland for a one-day conference on 28 January to tackle the challenges of educating students about the Holocaust seven decades on.

Today’s international remembrance ceremony at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where government and state leaders from across the globe, is set to provide a sombre reminder of the atrocities that stuck Europe in the 20th century. Three hundred survivors of the camp are also expected to take part in the ceremony.

The conference on Holocaust remembrance offers educators the opportunity to collectively seek better methods to teach what remains a complex and politically sensitive subject in many parts of Europe. Panel discussions involving affiliates and guests are set to provide for an array of views and ideas.

Delivering the keynote speech is Timothy Snyder of Yale University, whose renowned book “Bad Lands” looks closely at the violent acts perpetrated by both Hitler and Stalin outside of Germany and Russia during the Second World War.

The conference comes at an important time in both Europe and countries abroad as anti-immigration and anti-Semitism is on the rise. Recent attacks in France have thrust the issue to the forefront of the social agenda.