“Holocaust Handbook”, work of 19 Serbian professors who attended the International School for Holocaust Studies in 2008 in Yad Vashem, was presented on December 17 in the Belgrade City Library.
Eyal Naor, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Serbia, has emphasized the importance of having this kind of „tool for professors in expanding students’ knowledge and perception of one of the most tragic chapters in the modern history.“ “You have to know your past in order to ensure a better future for all,” he said.
Mr. Naor added that the Embassy of Israel bought 150 Handbooks which will be sent to schools all around Serbia. „I hope that Serbian authorities will follow up this modest gesture of the Embassy and will provide every school in Serbia with this important book “, Mr. Naor concluded.
Speaking about the studious work of Serbian professors, Aleksandar Nećak, the honorary President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, emphasized the importance of education, explaining that the „memory is not enough”.
“Little is known is Serbia about the most monstrous crime of 20th century“, Mr. Nećak said. He used the opportunity to once again emphasize that 70 years after 6,400 Jews were brutally murdered in the Sajmište concentration camp there is still not a plaque in memory of those victims.
Dr. Milan Ristović, Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, talked about different pedagogical and methodological obstacles which professors are facing while trying to teach and explain to young generations what the Holocaust is. He explained that it is hard to cover this extremely tragic topic and avoid overburdening students with sufferings or creating rejection.
“This handbook is a step forward and an introduction to the systematic study of the Holocaust,” Professor Ristović said. “It represents a rational instrument for understanding the irrational,” he added.
Dušan Vujičić, Editor in Chief of the “Platoneum”, publishing house from Novi Sad, talked about the enthusiasm of those professors who decided to create this practicum and share, with their Serbian colleagues, what they’ve learned during the study visit to the Yad Vashem.
He explained that this book was published with the help of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, together with the collection of scientific essays „Remembering crimes – discussion on genocide and murder of nations“. This collection of renowned world experts’ essays about the European culture of remembrance and the Handbook represent a great dyptih about the tragic chapter in the history of European and world civilization.
During the presentation of the books, the audience has been reminded that Serbia became a full member of the International Task Force for Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) Serbia in 2011.