Educational Seminar on Comparative Studies of the Holocaust in Ukraine and France

The seminar was organized by Memorial de la Shoah in Paris and Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies under the support of ITF. Among the participants were 15 Ukrainian teachers of History and Humanities, previously acquainted with the history of the Holocaust in Europe and Ukraine and having already taken part in educational projects of Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies and Belzec Memorial Museum. They represented several regions of Ukraine, namely Dniepropetrovsk, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Donetsk, Poltava, Lviv, Khmelnitskiy. The main aim of the seminar, taking place on 24-28 November 2008 on the premises of the Memorial, was learning the approaches to Holocaust education in France, studying history and historiography of modern French science, familiarization with research and educational activities of the Memorial. Another no less important goal of the project was comparison of the historical fates of Ukrainian and French Jews under the Nazism and the Holocaust, exchange of teaching techniques, methodical approaches to Shoah education in Ukraine and France.
Seminar was very efficient. It presented a combination of lecturing, discussions, guided tours to the Memorial, the Museum of Jewish History, Drancy transit camp. The participants enjoyed a possibility to listen to profound lectures by leading specialists on Jewish History and the Shoah in France (Georges Bensoussan, Philippe Boukara, Serge Barcellini, Edouard Husson and others) and to take part in avid discussions. It is noteworthy that among the staff of the seminar were associates of the educational department of the Memorial as well as specialists from Sorbonne, Ministry of Defense and other organizations ad institutions. Within the seminar the participants had a chance to meet f. Patrick Desbois and get acquainted with Yahad-In-Unum and the project of gathering the testimonies of the non-Jewish Holocaust witnesses in Ukraine.
All in all the experience of the first seminar for Ukrainian teachers in Memorial is very positive. We strongly believe that such cooperation should continue to result in the following seminar basing on the outcomes of the first one.

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