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Exploring the relevance of Holocaust education for human rights education

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Can Holocaust education be considered a tool for human rights education? If so, to what extent? These questions elicit discussions among a wide range of educators, and interest among politicians, educational planners, and ministries in charge of memorials. At first glance the obvious answer seems to be yes; both educators and students have strong expectations in this regard. But educators in both fields can find it difficult to include both topics in one programme. The article clarifies some basic concepts regarding the traditions of Holocaust education and human rights education, and then makes a distinction among learning about, learning for, and learning within a framework of human rights. This distinction makes it possible to differentiate the possible contributions, and the limits, of Holocaust education as a human rights tool in these three areas. Also, as these two fields evolved in very separate ways, common projects could bring together concepts and experiences from both fields to develop further possibilities.

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  3. Korczak, a Polish-Jewish pediatrician and pedagogue, developed an educational perspective in his orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto, based on respect for children and their rights. Although people offered to rescue him, he refused to abandon the children and was taken with them to Treblinka; there, they were probably all murdered.


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Correspondence to Monique Eckmann.

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Eckmann, M. Exploring the relevance of Holocaust education for human rights education. Prospects 40, 7–16 (2010).

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