Holocaust course introduced in Australian schools

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Canberra, Feb 1 (IANS) Schools in South Australia have begun a trial of a Holocaust education program to fight the rise of anti-Semitism, an official said.

The program to be taught to 15 and 16-year-old students at 12 secondary schools around Adelaide would equip students with knowledge and compassion, Xinhua news agency reported.

Coordinated by the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre,it will then eventually be incorporated into an in-house resource at the museum when it opens in late 2019 so that more schools could be included.

The Holocaust was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population there between 1941 and 1945.

“We’ve seen around the world the rise of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred and racism,” Nicola Zuckerman, chair of the museum, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) late on Thursday.

“I think it’s now more important than ever that the younger generations are educated about the history of the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it.

“Without understanding that, it’s difficult for them to understand in today’s world why anti-Semitism and any form of hatred is just entirely unacceptable,” she said.

This knowledge and understanding of the sorts of sentiments that lead to the holocaust will prepare them to stand up against similar evil.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry in November 2018 had revealed anti-Semitic incidents rose by an unprecedented 60 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.

Of the 366 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, 156, or 43 per cent, were considered attacks and 210, or 57 per cent, categorised as threats.

“There are some places and countries where it’s not taught, it’s not acknowledged and younger generations don’t even know what occurred.

“We have to ensure that we create a society that is understanding, compassionate and accepting of all people,” Zuckerman said.

–IANS

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