Looking at History: Berlin Workshop Focuses on Holocaust Testimony in European Education

Mon, 06/22/2009 - 12:00am
Three-day joint venture workshop attended by colleagues from 10 nations.

For the first time, the Institute’s international partners came together for Looking at History:  Incorporating Video Testimony across the Curriculum, an intensive workshop at Freie Universität Berlin, on the educational use of video testimony in Europe. A joint venture between the Institute and Freie Universität Berlin’s Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), the workshop took place over three days and included colleagues from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Over the last six years, the Institute worked with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and educators who were interested in developing testimony-based educational materials. Since then, these partners have crafted innovative multimedia resources for local educators and students—in their local languages and geared towards local contexts and history—that feature video testimony of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.

“Our partners across Europe have accomplished much and created substantive educational resources in their respective countries,” said Kim Simon, Institute Managing Director. “We have arrived at a critical moment when survivors and other witnesses will no longer be with us, and because of the tremendous work of our colleagues, we were able to begin a concrete dialogue about utilizing the videotaped testimonies of Holocaust eyewitnesses in education. The valuable knowledge and experience we and our partners have gained was shared among colleagues, and will inform future efforts to use visual history testimony in Europe and potentially around the world.”

Topics of discussion and work included the use of video testimony to cover subjects introduced by educational reform; challenges of developing testimony-based materials and strategies for success; teacher training on testimony-based materials; and evaluation of materials and programs. The meeting also gave participants opportunities to introduce new testimony-based projects and initiatives and discuss the possibility of collaborative projects between and among countries.

The workshop was made possible through generous funding by the Ruth Ziegler International Training Fund. Click here to learn about ways to support the Institute’s international educational outreach.