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Perpetrator Studies Network


22 - 24 February 2018
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Conference: Near but Far: ‘Holocaust Education Revisited’

The conference “Near but Far: ‘Holocaust Education Revisited’” is designed for people involved in educating students or the public about the crimes of the National Socialists and the reception of these crimes, as well as those who are in other ways connected to ‘Holocaust Education’. The title of the conference suggests a paradox. ‘Holocaust Education’ is ‘near’ because the fates of the victims of Nazi crimes are still important to people today. A strong emotional and intellectual engagement shapes ‘Holocaust Education’. ‘Far’ hints that due to the temporal distance to National Socialism, every new generation has to learn how to deal with the historical reality and its impact in their own way. Due to society’s constant change and to the historical-political discussions, Holocaust and Nazi crimes have to be continually discussed. To do this, we resort to existing concepts of ‘Holocaust Education’. These include a large variety of didactical approaches that take into consideration the different persecuted groups (including but not limited to the suffering of the Jewish victims). The term ‘Revisited’ emphasizes the necessity to re-evaluate our own point of view and the opportunity to critically recognize national and international discussions.

Researchers of all levels of qualification and of different disciplines, as well as teachers and teaching assistants are invited to discuss the following topics in an interdisciplinary and international research context:

  1. Mediality: Digitalization has changed the technological possibilities of depicting history. For example, buildings that have been demolished a long time ago can be brought into the digital presence and visualized through ‘augmented reality’. In the future we will be able to use archived video material to create holograms of witnesses, making them addressable for posterity. Which pedagogical and subject-didactical consequences do these possibilities have?
  2. Facts and fiction: The Holocaust and National Socialism continue to be topics that are not only passed on as historical facts. Therefore artistic creations have special importance in this area. Some fictionalized depictions are useful for Holocaust Education and make new dimensions of reflection accessible. How can we design sustainable and media-conscious Holocaust Education?
  3. Places of education: For decades adolescents have been visiting memorial sites for the victims of the Nazi regime. These visits happen in different institutional contexts. Society’s current changes are a challenge for schools, memorial sites, documentation centers and museums. The place of remembrance obtains a new job as a place of memorial education that illustrates raw and reconstructed history. What does the respective place teach the visitors? Which chances for the learning processes arise from that?
  4. Perception, teaching and reception: The groups of people who deal with ‘Holocaust Education’ are diverse. Memorial site staff, survivors, students, youth groups, tourists, politicians, artists, descendants of the victims and other persons or groups of persons can be found wherever concentration camp victims are commemorated or where Nazi crimes are discussed and reflected about. How do these groups of people develop their position on the topic of Holocaust and Nazi crimes? How do they negotiate their understanding of ‘Holocaust Education’ among each other and among other groups of people?
  5. Didactics and sustainability: Didactically, the question of relevance and sustainability of ‘Holocaust Education’ arises – especially with recent political trends in mind. There are established interdisciplinary approaches that place emphasis not only on knowledge but also on empathy, experience and concrete actions. In this area, education continues to discover resources through combination of in-school and out-of-school learning. How can an appropriate and responsible way of dealing with educational offers be modeled and reflected about?

For more information on submitting an abstract or registering for the event please click here.