LfH-Podcast

A Shoah survivor’s life is a part of my human identity

Tanja Ronen, Director of the European Desk, Lohamei Haghetaot (Ghetto Fighters´ House Museum - Israel) was interviewed during the Israeli-German expert meeting "Video Testimonies – Using Interviews with Survivors of National Socialist Persecution in Historical Education Theoretical Approaches, Methods and Concepts for a Didactics of Oral Remembrance in Israel and Germany", organized by the foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (23rd - 25th November 2010).

From Birgit Marzinka

Personal Contemporary Relevance in the Narratives of Survivors of the Ghettos

Michael’s Dialogue – a survivors biography is part of my identity

"Michael's Dialogue" is a ciber multi-culture study and exchange programme, based on survivors' testimonies, historical facts, all forms of art and democratic values and behaviour. It can be a dialogue of one group, a dialogue of two or more groups, it can work on the ciber level alone and it can end with a meeting of the groups or a trip on the footprints of the survivor.

The significant question about teaching history anywhere is: How do historical representations of any kind suggest themselves 'as a means of invigorating action and how history is applied to promote specific ends'. In other words: The selection of information and the moral lessons associated with it form a particular historical perspective – one shaped and oriented in relation to the political and social arena. Thus, in examining representation of the Holocaust in the frame of a multi-cultural society's education, we must question not only the accuracy of the depiction but also how the teaching of an event reflects the social and political context in which the narrative was shaped and how it is expected to shape the concurrent social and political circumstances.

Michael's Dialogue declares an alternative approach to Holocaust education. The Holocaust is probed as a historical crisis, both Jewish and universal, which calls for an educational engagement in individual and social dilemmas and their current relevant ramifications. It's program is based on the principle that the lessons of the Holocaust are applicable not only universally, but individually the world over. By examining survivors’ biographies, reflecting on family biography, and learning about the Holocaust, students and teachers come to understand more emphatically the protective nature of democratic values, the necessity of speaking out against abuse of power, and the danger of remaining indifferent to human suffering.

History and narratives

Events which are rooted deeply in the collective narratives of all nations - outcomes and memories of past traumas experienced by different collectives, the Jewish Holocaust and the Europeans different and diverse traumas have a deep impact on their perceptions and behaviors. The survivors are and will always stay witness to the historical events. The collective narratives are a quilt of individual testimonies and there lies their historical, moral and social value.

Michael's Dialogue is probing history, narrative and identity in the context of Multi-cultural society views.

Strategy
  • Creating a data base of art works, biographies of survivors of WW II.
  • Adding new data of materials develpoed in each exchange project as foundations for the on-going discourse of the future.
  • Working with youth research groups for 4 – 6 month each year.
  • organising exchange meetings with exceptional participants of the young researchers.
  • Evaluation.
Work process

Opening session

  • Presentation in class of the project and its aims: the importance of learning from history to ensure the future, the importance of dialogue with another person and with another culture.
  • Introduction an acquaintance with Michael's Dialogue.
  • Acquaintance with the chosen study text (survivors’ story in forms of a book, art work, film, etc.
  • Expectations from the project.

Computer skills

  • Training in work with forums.
  • Forming a dialogue ethical code for discussions in the forums.
  • Sending and receiving e-mails, and photos on e-mail.
  • Acquaintance with Michael's Dialogue site of the in the Ghetto Fighters' House museum’s website.

Acquaintance with the partners

  • Class discussion – what will we write, what do we think the others would like to know about us personally and as a group, what would we like to know about our partners, personally and as a group.
  • Sending group letters or personal letters as attachments to e-mails.
  • Writing family biographies on the Michael's Dialogue website.

Forums discussions

  • Participants will compare discuss and react to questions arising from family histories.
  • Participants will compare own family history to chosen study text and try to line out milestones for decision making by survivor, family, artist etc.
  • Participants will discuss and choose questions relating relevance of the experience learnt to plans, thoughts and wishes for the future to be worked out in smaller groups.
  • Creating an individual or group summing up presentation.

Activity will be accompanied by creating a new text in art, music, film, exhibition or any other form of choice, either personal or by small groups or the whole group. Participants are welcome and should be encouraged to add any additional personal information or comment.

Conclusion

  • Participants will prepare a presentation of products in an exhibition or on stage before a forum in their schools, parents or other interested parties.
  • The participants will guide their peers and guests in the presentation.
  • Participants will prepare a lecture on their learning experience. 

Further informations and an article from Tanja Ronen about the Ghetto Fighters´House Museum on this web portal.

Audio interview with Tanja Ronen

Presentation of the Ghetto Fighters´ House Museum

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Values of the Ghetto Fighters´ House Museum

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Topics of the exhibition and the pedagogical work of the museum

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Seminars and pedagogical concept of the museum

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Differences between the Ghetto Fighters´ House Musem and Yad Vashem and the reactions of the visitors of the Ghetto Fighters Museum

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Opinion about the Israeli-German Expert Exchange

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