The manual Recommendations for Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust is intended for teachers and all others in the Republic of Serbia, who in various ways participate in Holocaust education or contribute to the deepening of knowledge and better understanding of this topic. These are museum workers, librarians, archivists, civil society activists, historians, researchers and many others. It is also intended to policy makers,that is to those who make decisions in the fields of education and culture, and especially remembrance culture. Finally, the manual can be used by artists, creators of various cultural programs, as well as journalists and other media professionals.
The manual offers some of the answers to the questions of what the Holocaust is, and why it is important today to remember and learn about this dark history of society and how to do it today. Also, the manual provides guidelines of how to deal with contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism, but also various other forms of xenophobia, which were used in times before the Holocaust as a basis for political action by states to organize and carry out mass killings by all available funds.
Created as a result of cooperation and joint work of experts from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, including experts from the Republic of Serbia, the manual makes an important contribution to efforts to strengthen and emancipate Holocaust education, but also research, memorialization and general remembrance culture in the Republic of Serbia. That is extremely important when we have in mind the problem of revisionism, distortion, manipulation and politicization of history, which we encounter both throughout Europe and in our country. Considering the need for better understanding contemporary challenges and the complexity of learning about the Holocaust, as well as the fact that in front of our entire society forthcoming the great task of realizing the Memorial Center “Staro sajmište”, this publication has special importance.
The manual is conceived in the form of recommendations because there are no general solutions that can be easily applied in all environments. Because of that, when it comes to the Republic of Serbia, the specifics of our history and historical and social heritage must be taken into account. In that context, it should be paid attention to several characteristic challenges. One of them is the fact that we have several groups of victims in World War II. Besides Jews, Serbs, Roma and others suffered, as well as the members of People’s Liberation Movement, which is important to emphasize regardless of whether the continuation of the lesson will pay attention to one, the other or all groups. The other fact is anti-fascist resistance, in which also Jews participated in. At the end, it is very significant to get involved in the topics of collaboration, that is of those who helped the occupiers and participated to varying degrees in identifying, arresting, enforcing, robbing and even killing Jews and Roma, as well as Serbian patriots and anti-fascists. That is the only way in which we can truly develop critical and analytical thinking in young people, which is also one of the basic goals of education.