How to commemorate the Holocaust?

How to commemorate the Holocaust?

27 January is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since 2005, the UN and its member states have held commemoration ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and pay tribute to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.

For this occasion, the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity each year comes up with initiatives to broaden awareness of the Holocaust.

‘The Eleventh Commandment: do not be indifferent! Otherwise, in no time at all to
you and your descendants some kind of Auschwitz will come out of nowhere.’

Marian Turski

Watch on the website

Webinar - Resources for history teachers: International Holocaust Remembrance Day /U. Bijoś, J. Mayr

During the webinar, that took place on 19 January 2023, Julia Mayr and Urszula Bijoś presented a new educational kit of teaching resources about the Holocaust which can be helful in preparing an interactive lesson for students. On 27. January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration Camp, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day was commemorated. This day, established by the United Nations, might be an opportunity to introduce the topic of the Holocaust to your students. The webinar speakers encouraged teachers to plan and conduct a lesson or a school event to commemorate the remembrance day.

Julia Mayer, a teacher from Bundesgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium Enns in Austria, talked about ways to prepare students to discuss the topic of the Holocaust. During the webinar, the speakers explored the free resources available on the ‘Hi-story Lessons’ platform, such as the infographics, maps, various sources of information, lesson plans and animations.

'Memento' Animation

The half-a-minute-long spot based on charcoal drawings recalls one of the most tragic events in human history. As its director Zoltán Szilágyi Varga says, when trying to grapple with the Holocaust “we stand in front of human nature’s distortion without any answer despite all the research we know, the number of victims counted, the exact description of the events.” The film evokes symbolism which is easily recognised by Europeans: cattle railway cars, railway tracks, paper snippets or abandoned flats, yet it shows them from a child’s perspective, thereby posing the question whether it is possible to comprehend that tragedy and stressing the need to uphold the memory of those days.