Understanding the Holocaust through human rights education: FRA Handbook for teachers

Cover of the handbook for teachers
Cover of the handbook for teachers
09/11/2010
To mark this year's anniversary of "the night of the broken glass", the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a handbook for teachers: Excursion to the past - teaching for the future. The handbook emphasises the link between teaching about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes, and teaching about human rights and democracy. Teachers and guides of memorial sites or museums are key to ensuring that the connection is recognised between Holocaust and human rights education. However, there is a lack of human rights training available for both groups. The FRA thus encourages national governments to better integrate education on the Holocaust and human rights into their school curricula to reflect the significance of human rights in both the history and the future of the EU.

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum: "There is a significant lack of material available for teachers highlighting the link between the Holocaust and events like the "the night of the broken glass" with human rights. Most school curricula do not include specific studies on the Holocaust and human rights. Testimonies of Holocaust survivors will soon become voices of the past; teachers need new tools for transmitting the lessons learned by past generations. This handbook equips teachers with ways of showing the possible consequences for our future when failing to respect human rights nowadays."

Students and teachers ask for link to the present

"It is not enough to listen to a witness who is over 80 years old if you do not connect his/her experience to the present time, if you do not recognise there is still a deficit in human rights today." (Teacher, Italy)

"Visits to memorial sites can provide a broader understanding of what human rights are. They help you to understand how important it is to create a world with room for everyone." (Student, Denmark)

Toolkit on Holocaust and human rights education

The handbook for teachers Excursion to the past - teaching for the future is part of a FRA project on Holocaust education and human rights education. As part of this project, the EU-Agency for Fundamental Rights will also issue an online toolkit on Holocaust and human rights education for teachers, as well as an overview of what memorial sites do in relation to Holocaust and human rights education. The Agency will also further the development of an EU network for teachers, staff at memorial sites and museums, human rights educators and young people.

The FRA Handbook Excursion to the past-teaching for the future is available online here.

For further information, please contact the FRA media team:

Email: media@fra.europa.eu
Phone: +43 1 58 030 - 642

Notes to editors:

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is mandated to provide evidence-based advice to decision-makers in the EU. The Agency's evidence aims at informing EU and national policy-makers and contextualising debates on fundamental rights in the European Union.