A special course for teachers is on offer to help them convey information about the Shoah to their students. For this purpose, the SIG and the PLJS organise day trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the teacher training college PH Luzern subsequently carries out a practical training day.
Teachers in the German-speaking part of Switzerland can benefit from a two-part course on the Shoah and on methods of teaching about it in class. In the first part, the SIG and the Platform of Liberal Jews in Switzerland PLJS conduct a day-trip to Auschwitz. This is followed by a practical training day at the teacher training college (Pädagogische Hochschule) in Lucerne. The offer is intended primarily for teachers at lower and upper secondary school level.
Teaching about Shoah
The Shoah, also known as the Holocaust, is a part of the collective memory and historical culture of Switzerland, and is undisputedly an important topic for teaching at schools. However, uncertainty remains as to how this subject should be conveyed to students. Should the focus be on teaching the facts, should skills such as critical thinking be enhanced, or should attitudes be probed, changed or emphasised? Especially if the subject is to be broached in an in-depth way, the personal experience of the teacher is a crucial factor. Reading books about the Shoah and the related crimes can never replace personal experiences such as a visit to the sites of the concentration camps.
Goal of the visit to the Auschwitz memorial site
Tendencies and manners of marginalising certain social groups is a subject frequently taught at schools. The Holocaust shows the extremes of crime and tragedy that any trivialisation or toleration of such discrimination can lead to. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has a large symbolic value in highlighting the Nazi crimes during the Second World War. By visiting this historic memorial site, teachers are likely to gain impressions that will help them impress on their students that the crimes of the Nazis and the suffering of the victims must never be forgotten, belittled or repeated.