Commemorating Holocaust victims in the context of russia's war against Ukraine
On 3 October 2023, the Faculty of History and Law of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University hosted a webinar "Commemorating the Holocaust in the Context of russia's War Against Ukraine", which was conducted for students by Anatolii Podolskyi, Head of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, PhD, and Vitalii Bobrov, Coordinator of the Center's educational programmes, at the initiative of Olha Nikolaienko, Professor of the Department of History of Ukraine at the Faculty.
The webinar for future teachers of history and social studies covered the following topics: basic pedagogical principles of talking about the Holocaust and how they may change; state commemorations and memory policy; the content of commemorative events and their evolution.
Anatolii Podolskyi was focusing on the introduction of a national historical calendar, the change of established names, and rituals of commemoration of war victims. The Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies (UCHS), carries out a powerful work that includes supporting Holocaust research in Ukraine, disseminating knowledge among the general public and students, supporting the work of teachers who conduct local history research, commemorating the victims by organizing memorials and supporting various memorialisation practices.
At the same time, talking about the Holocaust today, when Ukraine is suffering from russian military aggression, is difficult, painful, and unpredictable. Therefore, Vitalii Bobrov, coordinator of educational programmes at the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, presented the Center's methodological guide "How to Talk about the Holocaust after 24 February 2022" and revealed the most pressing problems that history teachers face when studying difficult topics in class. The need for teachers today to be as ethical and correct as possible, to be scrupulous in their choice of topics, definitions, historical sources, visuals, and to take into account the psychological state and readiness of the student audience - these remarks were good advice for student interns who are already beginning their professional journey and entering the classroom.
Professor of the Department of History of Ukraine at the Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University
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