Workshop educates teachers about the Holocaust
By Amber Revels-Stocks
Friday, November 9, 2018
The N.C. Council on the Holocaust, in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, held an all-day workshop for teachers at South Central High School on Thursday.
The highlight of the event was a discussion with Holocaust survivor Alfred Schnog, who escaped from Holland only 40 days before the Nazis invaded.
“Nothing is better than having a first-hand speaker,” said Karen Klaich, workshop director and a former South Central High School teacher. “I hope the students take an understanding of what Schnog’s life was life (away from this). … I hope they realize that this was an intentional act that happened because groups made choices to act or not to act.”
“I hope they learn that we have a responsibility as human beings and as individuals to act or not to act,” Klaich said. “There were bystanders who said nothing, and I hope that when (the students) encounter prejudice or hated in their own lives, that they stand up and say, ‘This is not going to happen.’”
Other events included workshops on propaganda and anti-Semitism, including a podcast with author Frank Meeink and a workshop preview by Eileen M. Angelini of East Carolina University.
“The mission of the N.C. Council on the Holocaust is teacher education. We hold eight to ten workshops throughout the state every year,” said Klaich. “Originally, we focused on the history of the Holocaust, and we’ve had so many teachers attend those programs that now we diversify into education during the Third Reich or propaganda.”
The group also has traveling exhibits and plays as well as taking educators to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. It also provides resources to teachers.
“We want to teach our teachers best practices and to give them resources,” said Lauren Piner, Holocaust educator and South Central history teacher. “We want them to understand that the Holocaust is still a timely topic that needs to be talked about.”
For more information about the N.C. Council on the Holocaust or to access its resources, visit www.ncpublicschools.org/holocaust-council/.