A Post-It note from the Programme Director: 17 July

It is nearly the end of the academic year, thank goodness. The energy tank is on empty and we are all ready for a break – whatever that looks like in the current crisis. For most teachers this will most probably include a fair chunk of time preparing timetables, study units and logistical arrangements, ready for yet another challenging year ahead.,

Rest, recuperation and relaxation are however, ‘a must’ and after such a difficult term these necessary pleasures are particularly well deserved. During the pandemic, remarkable stories have come- to -light of teachers going beyond the call of duty to ensure students are cared for and receive quality, learning experiences. It was inspiring to read that teachers, head teachers, academy trust staff, have regularly delivered by hand, lunches to students who rely on schools to provide their only hot meal of the day. They also created time to keep in regular contact with students considered most vulnerable or potentially at risk.  Yes, it is true, that such duty of care is part of the job but it is still remarkable and should be recognised and commended.

This week 500 people – largely teachers, signed up for a place on UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s end of term webinar to hear eminent Professor Yehuda Bauer speak with his usual great knowledge and authority about Holocaust Distortion. The event was sold-out in just a couple of days.

Photo courtesy of Yad Vashem

Holocaust distortion is a dangerous and growing trend that violates Holocaust historiography and memory and threatens civilization. In many cases, Antisemitism is at its core.

Professor Bauer, now in his 90s, fiercely attacked those who minimalize the Holocaust, trivialise it or seek to distort the truth by downplaying or flatly denying their nation’s complicity with the Nazis in the murder of Jews.

Powerfully, with hand pounding on the table Yehuda drew the conclusion that: ‘The only real answer is education. Fortify the ones who have not made up their minds: Democracy, liberalism, denial of the denial, denial of the distortion. Don’t use slogans, …don’t say ‘Never Again’, because it’s ‘Ever Again’. That’s a stupid slogan. Act!

Photo courtesy of Yad Vashem.

It was a truly outstanding lecture as these twitter messages from participants show:

‘It was fabulous, I was literally hanging on to his every word!

‘Thank you @UCL_Holocaust for today’s remarkable and passionate talk by Professor Yehuda Bauer. Wonderful to hear this legendary scholar.’

The team at UCL, together with Professor Evangelos Himonides were extremely proud to host this event, which, by the way, was recorded and will be made available via a future Post-it- Note on this website.

All of us at UCL centre for Holocaust Education wish you an enjoyable, peaceful and healthy summer.

Ruth-Anne Lenga
Programme Director


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