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Holocaust Education

Holocaust Education

Europe’s East, the Second World War, and the Holocaust: A Transnational Education Project

As part of a larger team, members of Working Group 3 of the Slow Memory Action – Sara Jones, Julian Hoerner, and Ewa Tartakowsky – have been exploring the connection between memory of the Holocaust and Second World War and attitudes towards different groups. Their preliminary survey findings indicate that there is a correlation between how participants think about the Second World War (especially its victims) and antisemitism. We can see this as related to an embedded memory of uncomplicated Eastern European victimhood. In this context, we want to bring to the surface and engage young people in some of the complex histories of the region.

In line with the slow memory ethos, our student competition asks students to use creative cartography to encourage a “slow” approach to these pasts. Creative cartography allows exploration of the various accumulated layers of memory through collage, the use of superimposed layers, and strata of paint. It is an activity that relies on slow and creative research and practice. It fosters reflection on the connections between historical events, geographical and social space, and subjective experiences of time.

The Student Competition

Students over the age of sixteen in secondary-level education in any country are invited to submit a “creative cartography” based on one or more of the following three events:

Massacre at Babyn Yar in 1941

Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943

Deportations of Jews and Sinti and Roma from Romania

You can find out more about these events and about creative cartography in the short video below (available in English, Romanian, Ukrainian and Polish).

Further information and links to images and testimonies can be found in the teacher resources linked below. Please note that many of the images included in the video and linked in the resources were taken by the Nazis and should be approached sensitively. We encourage a creative response to remembrance, rather than creating art as if you have direct experience of the events of the Holocaust and Second World War.

You can submit your cartography in any medium or language and should include with it a 200-word explanation of your project in English, Romanian, Ukrainian or Polish.

The competition opens on 19 April 2024 and closes on 27 January 2025. Teachers are encouraged to support their students in the production of their submissions. The entries will be judged by an international panel of experts and selected entries will be published on this website.

Please submit your entries to transnationeducationholocaust@gmail.com by 27 January 2025.

Teacher Resources

These resources are not intended to be comprehensive, and each includes links to further reading, lesson ideas, images and testimonies.

The Holocaust in Europe’s East
The Second World War in Europe’s East

The Katyn Massacre

The resources presented here build on the research project Antisemitism in Post-Migrant Britain, funded by the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham, the cross-country collaboration Antisemitism and Holocaust Education in Transnational Perspective, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Impact Acceleration Account, and discussions in the COST-funded network on Slow Memory.

The teacher materials build on the work of four College of Arts and Law Collaborative Research Interns who worked with us in the summer of 2023. Many thanks to Lydia Eedy (Art Created in Labour Camps and Ghettos and Babyn Yar Massacre), Charlotte Grace (Ukrainian Nationalism and the Katyn Massacre), Isabel Locke (Treblinka Uprising and Deportations from Romania), and Marlena Wierzchowska (Warsaw Ghetto Uprising). The design work on the videos and resources was funded by the COST network and completed by Oxana Bischin who also supplied Romanian subtitles and translations.

Find out more here: Europe’s East, the Second World War, and the Holocaust: A Transnational Education Project – University of Birmingham

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