“Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community”.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The Holocaust was a turning point in history, which prompted the world to say “never again”. The significance of resolution A/RES/60/7 is that it calls for a remembrance of past crimes with an eye towards preventing them in the future.
The UNIC Windhoek 2015 Holocaust educational outreach programme aimed to raise awareness about the circumstances which made this genocide happen, to sensitize for social and individual strengths and weaknesses and finally memorize the losses of that genocide.
On Wednesday, the 4th of March UNIC Windhoek visited the Windhoek International School and were warmly welcomed by 50 grade 10 and 11 students. The UNIC team cautiously launched the intense topic by presenting a patchwork of different pictures showing significant marks of the Holocaust as the yellow star, the life in a ghetto, beds in a death camp, a mass of dead bodies and a portrait of Adolf Hitler.
The students were to describe the pictures and express their inner thoughts and feelings attached to the incidences. Due the respond it was rapid to see that the students were already well acquainted with the topic.
This ease the flow of the presentation into the grounding conditions of Germany during 1930, which place emphases on the economic and political situation and the mood of anti-Semitism as well as the stairs of Hitler’s rise.
We went into more depth with a clip showing the “Milgram experiment” to explain why people act against their convictions in the context of power of obedience. The students were delighted to see how these mechanism of the human psych work and were surprised how far people go, if they don`t have to take responsibility for their behavior/manners.
To intensify the individual skills of the adolescent they became actively involved in assigned group work in answering the following question: “Who am I?” The students have to describe themselves as unique as they are in context of optic, character and specials. The second group read the story of the15 year old girl “Anne Frank”, a young Jewish victim of the genocide and the third group of student got to discuss about statements in terms of the concept of the enemy.
Finally the crowd compared notes over what they have concluded and highlight connections to the subject. Humbly they’ve expressed their creative side as they delve into the issue. After that an insightful exchange of ideas, the one and half hour teaching session comes to a close with a candle light ceremony.
UNIC Windhoek team were pleased to see that the presentation not only informed the adolescent about the devastating effects of the Holocaust, but also sparked up a strong individualistic interest to prevent future genocides.