“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
Last week, Israel Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Bavarian State Minister of Education and Culture Dr. Ludwig Spaenle signed a cooperation agreement in the sphere of education between Israel and Bavaria.
This agreement emphasizes both pedagogical cooperation as well as the exchange of information between the states. Dr. Spaenle visited Yad Vashem last week and had working meetings with Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem, and the staff of the International School for Holocaust Studies. A new international seminars wing of the School will be inaugurated in January 2012.
The agreement includes the exchange of students, teachers, and heads of commemoration and research institutions, as well as the intensification of teacher training in educational work both inside and outside of the classroom. It also incorporates the exchange of pedagogical information and experience. In addition, the agreement will support the teaching and learning of the respective historical, cultural, social and political conditions of Israel and Bavaria.
Israel Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar stated, "Strengthening Holocaust studies throughout the world, especially in Europe, serves as a dam before the phenomena of forgetting the Holocaust and Holocaust denial. Meetings among youth are an important layer in building future relationships between countries."
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev concurred, saying, "This agreement will reinforce the training of teachers and strengthen Holocaust education in Germany. We are eager to share our long-standing experience in Europe of providing pedagogical tools and knowledge in order to bring about a greater awareness of the Shoah to different sectors of the German public."