Challenging Myths and Misconceptions: Understanding the Nazi Camps and the Holocaust
Leading historians discuss the challenges and future of Holocaust education
Is Holocaust education failing? Many children currently leave school without a clear understanding of the Holocaust: they are confused about the perpetrators, about the concentration camps and their function. A major national student survey, carried out last year by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, concluded that ‘despite the Holocaust being a staple in the curriculum for almost 25 years, student knowledge and conceptual understanding is often limited and based on inaccuracies and misconceptions’. These gaps in knowledge are forcing us to reflect on how we teach young people at school and university about the camps and the Holocaust. To draw lessons from Nazi camps, we first have to understand their history.
This event will bring together leading historians and educators to consider:
- Which education methods are most appropriate, at a time when the last survivors are falling silent?
- Does a focus on individual victims and perpetrators help popular understanding?
- How can we harness new technologies to further knowledge?
- What, if any, wider lessons can be drawn from Nazi violence?
The event will also see the unveiling of a major new website on the history of the Nazi camps. The website, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and directed by Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann (author of prize-winning book KL. A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps), is the first major authoritative online resource about the camps, featuring original documents, video testimonies, lesson plans and more.
The website The Nazi Concentration Camps: A teaching and learning resource has been developed in collaboration with UCL Centre for Holocaust Studies.
Chaired by David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London.