Learning from history for the Memorial Day
In 1996, Federal President Roman Herzog introduced the 27th of January by proclamation as a German memorial day for the victims of National Socialism.
He chose January 27, the day the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was liberated in 1945 by Red Army soldiers. In his proclamation, Herzog expressed his concern that the memory of history would fade as more and more eyewitnesses died and could no longer tell their own stories of the terrible past.
The Memorial Day should keep the memory alive so that future generations could learn lessons from it.
The Protection Of Democracy And Law
The content of these teachings is clear: we must protect democracy and law, human rights and the inviolable dignity of the people so that the crimes committed in our country are not repeated.
But how can we prevent these teachings from becoming formulaic in the classroom?
That students have no desire to deal with the subject beyond the horror factor of horror because the moral teachings have already been drawn and nothing remains for them but to understand them?
Open Learning Processes In Holocaust Education
The culture of remembrance must also facilitate open learning processes. Pupils must also be able to learn in Holocaust education and make their own judgments.
For this purpose, students should be able to deal with the forms of our culture of remembrance and evaluate them for themselves: memorial days, memorial sites, wreath laying at the memorial.
Above all, students can find their own forms of memory, by creating a moment, an hour or a day of remembrance.
By tracing biographies of people at the time of National Socialism: how people became persecuted, how people became persecutors,
By introducing their hometown in the time of National Socialism: Where were people marginalized and persecuted? Was there also solidarity and resistance here?
The 27th of January as European and international commemoration day, Another possibility is to look abroad:
How do our European neighbors remember the Holocaust?
What role does this commemoration play worldwide?
While there has been a National Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust in Israel since 1952, European states and the United Nations did not retreat until after the end of the Cold War.
In line with the German Remembrance Day, the Ministers of Education of the countries represented in the Council of Europe decided in 2002 to commemorate the Holocaust and to prevent crimes against humanity. Most Member States put this anniversary on 27 January.
They agreed that on this day crimes against humanity in school lessons will be discussed. This is what the Council of Europe Materials available about memorial day.
In 2005, both the United Nations and the European Parliament declared January 27 the International Day of Remembrance to Holocausts Victims.