VIENNA, AUSTRIA—On May 11, government officials, educators, historians, teachers, and students attended an event recognizing the release of Das Vermächtnis (The Legacy), a Holocaust education resource developed by erinnern.at. The Legacy is the first resource for teachers in Austria that uses testimony from the Institute’s Visual History Archive (view German language news coverage of the launch event).
The Legacy’s 2 DVDs center on 91 high-quality video clips from the testimonies of 13 survivors, whose memories enhance 8 teaching modules that explore topics related to the history of the Holocaust in Austria: Childhood and Youth before 1938; School in 1938; 1938: “Anschluss” and November Pogrom; Flight and Expulsion; Deportation, Concentration Camps, Mass Murder; Life in Austria after 1945; Recollections and Stories; and We and the Others. The teaching modules come with ready-to-use classroom activities, and each module includes a version for junior grade (4th–8th) students and senior grade (9th–12th) students.
The Legacy was developed by erinnern.at, a teacher education organization of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (Department for Bilateral Affairs and Department for Political Education). Production was made possible through contributions by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, and Nationalfonds of the Republic of Austria for the victims of the National Socialism.
The use of the videotaped testimonies as a core primary source brings innovation and the potential to enrich traditional teaching and learning in the classroom
-—Kim Simon, Interim Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute
Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian National Assembly, and Claudia Schmied, Federal Minister, hosted the May event at the Abgeordnetensprechzimmer (the parlor of the Austrian parliament) in Vienna. The evening included a presentation by Dr. Werner Dreier and Dr. Markus Barnay, who managed the production of The Legacy; Kim Simon, Institute Director of International Programs and Communications, also participated in the presentation. “With the creation of this product, our colleagues have demonstrated the power of personal and individual memory as expressed through the medium of video,” Simon said. “In addition, the use of the videotaped testimonies as a core primary source brings innovation and the potential to enrich traditional teaching and learning in the classroom.”
After the presentation, Dr. Albert Lichtblau moderated a roundtable discussion that included survivors whose testimonies are featured in The Legacy, as well as students. Dr. Lichtblau was joined by survivors Dr. Helga Fedner-Busztin, Sophie Haber, and Elisabeth Scheiderbauer, and secondary school students Camilla Kaiser and Sahila Chanihok of Doeblinger Gymnasium in Vienna.