Indian teachers visit Israel to learn about Holocaust
Labonita Ghosh,ET Bureau
20 Dec, 2012
The Holocaust, the mass murder of about six million Jews during World War II carried out by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party in regions of German-occupied Europe, is widely seen as a one of the most horrific instances of genocide in recent history.
But Indian schools, when they educate students about this, rarely go into details. Youngsters have to rely on films, books and pop-culture references to know more about this state-sponsored extermination of the Jewish community.
Now a delegation of 20 school principals, heads of departments and humanities teachers are on a visit to Israel, to learn more about the Holocaust. The programme, organised by the International School of Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, will have the educationists spend two weeks learning about the horrors of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism more closely.
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and was set up in 1953 through the law passed by the Israeli parliament.
Even though members of the Jewish community have lived in India for centuries - and never faced any discrimination or anti-Semitism - not much is taught about the Holocaust in Indian schools.
Yad Vashem International School conducts regular training programmes for teachers from Europe. This time, taking into consideration India's close ties with Israel, the Israel Embassy in New Delhi (and consulates in Mumbai and Bangalore) have partnered with Yad Vashem for this visit.
Apart from classroom studies, the programme also includes meetings with Holocaust survivors, study tours and interaction with the Jewish community of Indian origin in Israel. Organisers are hoping to make this an annual event.