This Toolkit is released as an online beta version. Teachers are invited to share their experiences in using this Toolkit by emailing one of the project contacts.

Until 1989 all official researches of history belonged to the party. During this period the educational system did not focus at all on the importance of human rights. The end of communist regime in 1989 brought many changes, new approach towards own history among them.
Dr. Růžena Kormošová started with her student the project about neighbours, later on in 2004 they joined a bigger project called “Neigbours Who Disappeared – Forgotten History, “ a project of The Jewish Museum in Prague - Neighbours Who Disappeared She together with her students is implementing new ideas in local history. Projects were focusing on the local history and individual stories. Through the local history, students learned more about regional, national, global history and memory. Students were able to use primary sources, documents from archives and meetings with Holocaust survivors for better understanding of global history and also about contemporary events. They were able to put again on map their Jewish neighbours from the past and to understand that Jewish local history is a part of their national heritage. As a follow up of those activities new projects were developed.
Following the success of her local history project and interest to delve to human rights issues she coordinated presentation of Slovak version of the Anne Frank Exhibition – a History for Today Anne Frank Exhibition.

 

Step-by-Step Work Plan and Timetable in Chart Form

Task

Date

Search for the fates of former Jewish school of local grammar school and

Jewish public school

Search for adequate sources:

Contacting archives, witnesses and    survivors

Distribution of materials among students

Research done by students

Preparation of individual stories of  former Jewish school

2005-2007

Restoring of a historical heritage site – restoring and opening of the Jewish cemetery to public

Restoring of cemetery

Taking the responsibility of maintaining

2007

Information plaque at entrance of Jewish cemetery and leaflet – History of the Spisska Nova Ves Jewish Community

Working on the leaflet

2007

On the Trail of Memory – a book project

Working on individual stories

Preparing documents for a book

Art Competition – best pictures are part of a book

June 2009

Information Plaque – cemetery had been incorporated into the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route

Ceremony

2010

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Objectives and Rationale, Methodology, Materials

Overall there are several components in those projects. Research, education, remembrance and restoration which speaks about responsibility – action oriented project students are learning about local history but they are exposed to more knowledge particularly about the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

a. Content and Context
Before the WWII, there were 12 000 people living in Spisska Nova Ves; the majority of them wereSlovaks, but there were also Jewish, German, Hungarian and Roma minorities. We decided to investigate the fate of Jewish minority.
There is a possibility to implement the theme of Holocaust through those projects to schools. It is important to concentrate on individual stories and regional history to get a perception of bigger picture.

b. Pedagogical/Didactic Aims

One of the main pedagogical aims to give students tools to widen the knowledge of the Jewish world before and during the Holocaust and to put Jewish history to perspective of the regional culture, heritage and history.
It is very important to have direct contact with Holocaust survivors and witnesses. Increased ability to understand the importance of human rights and citizenship during Holocaust and nowadays which are discussed during this project.
Not to learn only but to take practical steps in avoiding prejudice, xenophobia, intolerance and racism among young people.
To learn about developing cultural remembrance
To take responsibility for preserving the memory
Encouraging respect for minority groups

Methodological Approaches

  • Visiting different types of archives – State Archives, local archives, getting the documents
  • Researching and writing up in small groups
  • Students are using documents in the classroom during hours of history
  • Organizing and supervising meetings with Holocaust survivors and witnesses
  • Publishing of students’ finding in book “On Trail of Memory”
  • Art Competition – Cooperation with Art teacher of school. Students were asked to create pictures inspired by Holocaust. The best pictures were used in book “On Trail of Memory”.
  • Questions such as: “How did German regime strip basic human rights from Jewish people?” were discussed during lessons.
  • Cleaning up and maintaining of Jewish cemetery in Spisska Nova Ves


Practical Challenges Faced by the Coordinators and Resolution Strategies
One of the practical challenges is shortage of time in curriculum however teacher can use different kind of activi-ties in the free time of students, during breaks and during afternoon history seminar’s classes.  There might be problem with local institutions, which was not the case.

Further Outcome of the Project
leaflet – History of Spisska Nova Ves Jewish Community   
book – “On the Trail of Memory” published by Gymnázium,Školská 7, Spišská Nová Ves in 2010, printed by Rivi-era, s.r.o.
short movie made by regional TV station TV Reduta – Lost Neighbours

Technical Equipment Requirements (if applicable)
Internet, Computer, Copy Machine, Projector, DVD Player, Scanner, Digital Camera, Dictaphone, Drawing Ink, Crayon, Pencils Papers

Primary Source Materials and Online Resources
Archives, online resources for getting more information and correspondence connected to projects.

Yad Vashem - Educational Materials

CD ROM – Into That Dark Night
Between the Worlds
Eclipse of Humanity

Yad Vashem - Educational Materials
Kit – Everyday Life in Warsaw ghetto

Yad Vashem - Educational Materials
Posters – But the Story Didn’t End That Way Return to Life

              



Book
Dr. Monika Vrzgulová, CSc – Children of the Holocaust
                                                         Dokumentačne stredisko holokaustu
Diary of Anne Frank

Visual Documentation (Photos, Scanned Materials):
Photos from Archives, documents

Practical Suggestions for Adaptation and Implementation in the Educational System
There is a possibility to use for education regional cultural heritage (cemetery, synagogue, Jewish school) to learn about people who were part of regional history.
Teachers can use parts of books Children of the Holocaust during lessons at school as a preparation for projects.
Teachers can take this approach step-by-step, starting with one project of their choice which can lead to other activities.
It is very important to prepare students for meeting with Holocaust survivors. In order to get information from them, student should be prepared for several meetings with them.
Topics of human rights and citizenship are discussed first in the classroom and also during the meetings with witnesses.

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Intertwined by Human Fates

Title of the Project
Intertwined by Human Fates

Name of the Coordinator
Dr. Ružena Kormošová

Name of the School
Secondary Grammar School at Školská Street no. 7 in Spišská Nová Ves www.gymsnv.sk

EU Member State
Slovak Republic

Number of Students Involved in the Project
80

Ages and Grade Levels of the Students
Secondary Grammar School

Involvement of Advisors and/or Other Institutions (if applicable)