From The Holocaust To Recent Mass Murders And Refugees

IJHLTR Article

By Anastasia D. Vakaloudi, Department of Teachers’ Supervisors (Inspectors) in Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Thessaloniki, Greece, published 8th June 2017

What Does History Teach Us?

International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research [IJHLTR], Volume 14, Number 2 – Spring/Summer 2017

ISSN: 14472-9474


Through studying cases of genocide and mass atrocities, students can come to realize that: democratic institutions and values are not automatically sustained but need to be appreciated, nurtured, and protected; silence and indifference to the suffering of others,
or to the infringement of civil rights in any society, can – however unintentionally – perpetuate the problems. Because the objective of teaching any subject is to engage the intellectual curiosity of students in order to inspire critical thought and personal growth, when we teach History, it is helpful to structure lesson plans aiming not only to educate students about particular topics such as the Holocaust and global mass atrocities but to help them prevent possible future atrocities. 

Through the historical analysis we should be engaged to the moral and anti-racist education. Thus the principal aim of the educational project that we propose is to explore secondary school students’ knowledge / understanding of the Holocaust and recent mass atrocities. However, we are also interested in examining how knowledge / understanding is related to other issues, such as students’ attitudes towards out-groups or their beliefs in a “just world”.

Students attend various workshops, plotting refugee journeys, investigating why refugees are migrating, analyzing stories written by survivors, studying Nazi propaganda means aiming to fuel bigotry and hatred, watching photos and film scripts on topics of Holocaust and recent mass atrocities, and looking at the legacy of the Holocaust. The aim is to help students draw links between historical events and the world today. Thus the Holocaust is linked with the recent mass atrocities, the refugees in Greece, the victims and survivors of different genocides from the past to the present day... 

Article taken from the International Journal of Historical Learning, Volume 14 Number 2

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