CoE 2006-31.0 The Holocaust – History and Memory 25-27th January 2007 Zagreb, Croatia The European workshop was spread across two and a half days of lectures, presentations, workshop discussions and site visits. The seminar was incorporated within the framework of the Pestalozzi Council of Europe Directorate for Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport whose aim is to train education professionals. The course took place in Zagreb and in Jasenovac, Croatia, under the auspices of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, by the Institute of Education of the Republic of Croatia, by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) and by the Jasenovac Memorial Site. The Pestalozzi liaison officers were Renata Ozorlić Dominić from the Croatian Education and Training Agency and Gunther Vella from the Education Division in Malta. Ustasha leader Pavelic greeted by Hitler during a visit in Germany. Ustasha troops on parade. The Croatian and foreign participants numbered around 70, housed in a four-star Hotel Dubrovnik in the central business district situated at Jelacic Square, five minutes walking distance from the Capitol, the Medieval Gothic Cathedral of the Annunciation and the old historic district of Zagreb. The speakers were mostly Croatian education officials, academics and teachers. The above mentioned agencies were represented by experts from, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands and the United States. There were fourteen foreign participants coming from Italy, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Poland and Hungary. The Council of Europe was represented by Fabienne Regard from Switzerland. The workshop was officially opened by the Minister of Science, Education and Sport of Croatia. Brief addresses followed by the Minister of Culture, by the Director of Education and Teacher Training and by Fabienne Regard, Council of Europe representative at the workshop. The participants were given a comprehensive overview of education about Holocaust history in Croatia. Education officials explained how Holocaust education was included from primary to tertiary levels and how was integrated in various subject syllabi (first and foremost in History, Social Studies, Religious Instruction, Philosophy and Croatian Language). After the official opening speeches, the floor was given to a number of Croatian scholars experts in Holocaust history and research. Dr Ivo Goldstein, Prof. of History at Zagreb University, presented the paper Croatia between Ustasha and Partisans: Changing Sympathies and Involvements, argued that during the course of World War II, the Ustasha dictatorship gradually lost sympathy and support of the Croatian people. He identified reasons for this development, namely the close alliance and dependence of the Ustasha regime upon Nazi German and Italian Fascist military and diplomatic support, the way the Ustasha handled the fragile economy of Croatia and the destruction of the war itself. Many Croatians became disillusioned by their supposedly independent government for instead of peace and stability, the Ustasha brought war, hardships, terror and destruction. Dr Zlata Živaković Kerže from the Zagreb Institute for History presented a case study of the war years in Croatia – The Holocaust in Osijek. Participants were briefed about the conditions of minorities (Jews, Roma gypsies, Serbs etc.) in Osijek and how these gradually were targeted for segregation, deportation, forced labour and extermination in the various concentration camps set up by the Ustasha in their effort to create a racially pure Croatia in accordance with the Nuremburg Laws (1935) issued in Nazi Germany against the Jews. Children separated from their parents before Jasenovac camp sentry tower and surrounding fence. Being deported to German camps. Nataša Mataušić from the Zagreb Historical Museum gave a comprehensive and vivid description of the Jasenovac Concentration Camp and tackled the problem experts encountered when selecting photographic documentation for the new permanent exhibition at the Memorial Museum in Jasenovac. The Jasenovac site was chosen because it was the largest and most efficiently run extermination camp by the Ustasha. In Jasenovac inmates were slaughtered, hanged, beaten to death, starved, shot, poisoned or simply perished as a result of hard physical labour and disease. Up to the year 2000 some 1,188 books, 1,544 memoirs and scholarly articles and 108 collections of documents on the Ustasha camps have been published in Croatia. Unfortunately closer scrutiny of the photographs included in these studies resulted that some of them showed German and not Croatian concentration camps. Thus, the task of the experts was to ensure that photographic material on the Jasenovac camp had to have their authenticity verified before being included in the permanent exhibition. Photographs showing unidentified mutilated victims found in camp mass graves were not displayed because rather than evoke compassion, they deprive the victims of their dignity. Alida Matković from Ministerial Department of Multilateral Cooperation and Loranda Miletić from the Education and Teacher Training Agency briefed the participants about the cross-curricular approach in the teaching about the Holocaust perpetuated by the Nazis and the Ustasha regimes and how it is tackled by different subjects: History, Croatian Language and Literature, Religious Studies, Psychology, Philosophy, Social Studies, Ethics and History of Art. Since 2003 the Teacher Training Agency had been producing teaching materials in the form of flyers, CD-Rom, guidelines to teachers, a resource book, local seminars and international scholarships on holocaust education. After the lunch break, Karen Polak, History teacher from the Netherlands, briefed the participants about aspects of Holocaust history in the Netherlands and about the educational activities and initiatives undertaken by the Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam. Ms Polak stated that the Netherlands had the largest number of collaborators with the Nazis and that the Netherlands deported some 100,000 of its Jews to German camps. Thus, this particularly shocking war-time experience makes Holocaust education in the Netherlands a central part of History and human rights education. Education authorities in the Netherlands have and are still producing teaching material to guide teachers in their teaching about the Holocaust using the ‘New History’ approach through local history, visit memorial sites, make use of personal stories, adopt a monument, conduct research from relevant Internet web sites, make us of CD- Roms and when necessary, design their own teaching material adapted to the age and abilities of their students. The participants were then divided into two simultaneous workshops. One workshop was chaired by Dr Kathrin Meyer, from the OSCE/ODHIR, adviser on issues related to anti-Semitism, Holocaust and intolerance towards Muslims and other minorities in Europe. The other workshop was presided by Orit Margaliot from the Yad Vashem Foundation, Israel. Dr Meyer briefed the participants about the functions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with 56 member countries based in Vienna and having eighteen fields of operation ranging from monitoring elections and democratization, human rights violations, tolerance and non-discrimination. The ODIHR is based in Warsaw, Poland. Both organizations distributed interesting and valuable resources in the form of information/work sheets, that could be used by teachers of different subjects when teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights, a CD-Rom and an information pack for teachers. The workshops were then followed by an open discussion from the floor, chaired by the Council of Europe representative Fabienne Regard. The participants were asked to introduce themselves and to brief the audience about Holocaust education and remembrance in their respective school and country. A photograph taken by the partisans in 1945 showing Jasenovac entrance staircase stained with blood. One of the propaganda photographs taken by the Ustaha regime showing camp inmates constructing a wall around Jasenovac camp. On the second day of the seminar the participants were taken on an on site excursion and workshops to Jasenovac Memorial Museum and Site on the River Sava close to the frontier with Bosnia. There was a guided tour of the permanent exhibition, educational centre and the memorial site by the museum staff guides. Nataša Jovičić, Director of the Jasenovac Memorial Site stressed that the site was set up as a memory of the holocaust. For this reason artefacts, photographs, memorials, interviews were included in the permanent exhibition with the aim of individualizing the victims, help create compassion and empathize with the living conditions in the camp. The exhibition was organized thematically and not chronologically. Students visiting the museum and site with their teachers work in the educational centre for a whole school day (approximately six hours). After the lunch break the participants were divided into two workshop groups at Jasenovac Primary School to discuss pedagogical and methodological issues when organizing field work visits and activities. Some of the participants briefed their colleagues about certain difficulties related to fieldwork visits, sometimes even when visiting local sites in one own country, namely syllabus coverage, distances and costs involved, remote preparation by the teacher/s organizing the visit and special permission from education authorities and parents. The Educational Centre adjacent to the Jasenovac memorial monument constructed in Jasenovac Memorial Museum and Site. the 1960s to commemorate the victims of the camp. The last day of the seminar was taken up by presentations of good practices on Holocaust education by a number of Croatian teachers from the primary and secondary classes. There were also brief addresses by international organizations that foster memory on the Holocaust. Martin Smok from The Shoah Foundation has collected up to 52,000 interviews. A pilot programme with Croatia was the selection and translation of Croatian survivors into the Croatian language. Stanlee J. Stahl from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (New York) presented a set of rescue posters and an interactive presentation on the part played by the rescuers during the Holocaust. Although the number of rescued victims was less than 0.1%, the interviews of some 60 rescuers collected so far serve to show that amidst the agents of terror that perpetuated the Holocaust, there were a few who risked their lives to rescue victims in different ways. After the customary evaluation and conclusion by the host organizers and the Council of Europe representative, the seminar was declared closed and the participants started to depart after the lunch break. The participants thanked the organizers for having planned and run the seminar in a professional way, varied the activities, involved the participants in group and workshop discussions and that the speakers remained faithful to the time allocated to them. Websites for further reading: Anti-Defamation League (ADL), New York, www.adl.org. USC Shoah Foundation Institute, www.usc.edu/vhi. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, www.yadvashem.org. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna); Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw, www.osce.org/odihr Acknowledgment of illustrations: Jasenovac Memorial Museum and Site publication, 2006. ___________________________________________________________________________________ Raymond Spiteri, B.Ed, M.A., is Subject Coordinator for History within the Curriculum Department of the Education Division, presently posted at Li eo Mikiel Anton Vassalli, Qormi and Treasurer of the History Teachers’ Association. Mr Spiteri lectures in historical methodology at the Faculty of Education. He has recently published articles in the Sacra Militia Journal and produced, through the Curriculum Department and the History Teachers’ Association, various resource material for history teachers. Mr Spiteri represented the Education Division at the seminar held in Zagreb.