Lessons of the Holocaust – Lessons of Tolerance

Under such a title a one-day educational-methodical practical seminar for teachers took place in Kyiv Gymnasium for Oriental Languages on December 12, 2006. During the seminar guests (history teachers and methodologists from Kyiv schools) had a chance to see several interesting presentations. The first presentation I believe very effective and emotional was an English lesson for 7th grade dedicated to Theresienstadt and the efforts to understand the known poem of Paul Friedman, a dweller of the “exemplary ghetto”, about the butterfly that cannot live in ghetto… Children in 7th grade do not yet know all the terrible history of the Holocaust, but history of Terezin call for pondering on many issues: sympathy with others, human rights, child rights, an attempt of understanding extreme situation, generally issues of human tolerance. The lesson was so impressive, because none of the participants (teachers or students) was indifferent during the 40 minutes… The lesson was prepared and demonstrated by an English teacher of the Gymnasium Ms. Marichka Prokopchouk, who recently visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem being a participant of the first Ukrainian group of teachers on an educational-methodical seminar on Holocaust history.
Second presentation was dedicated to academic studies on Babiy Yar in sovereign Ukraine. It was prepared on a computer by students of the 11th grade of the Gymnasium. School leavers (11th grade) presented the recent academic findings on Babiy Yar and commented them. Their scientific advisor was famous in Ukraine teacher and methodologist Mr. Mikhailo Savchenko, who is vice principal on academic work in the Gymnasium and an avid teacher and learner of the Holocaust issues. It is Mr.Savchenko who initiates these seminars.
It is noteworthy that the seminar took place in Kyiv Gymnasium for Oriental Languages owing to the support of the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine, the Embassy of the USA in Ukraine, and Ukrainian Centre for Holocaust Studies.

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