Seminar for teachers on human rights’ violations and the Holocaust

On October 24 – 28, an international seminar on “Learning about Human Rights, Social Justice, and the Holocaust” was held for teachers in Vilnius.

The international seminar was organized by the Olga Lengyel (TOLI) Institute in New York together with the Secretariat of the International Commission, the Lithuanian Jewish Community, and in cooperation with the Vilnius Gaon Museum of Jewish History. The seminar was co-funded by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The participants of the seminar listened to the lectures delivered by Lithuanian and foreign lecturers; they also attended active methodological workshops. Teachers got acquainted with Jewish history by participating in a tour to the Old Town of Vilnius. While visiting the Holocaust exposition in the museum on Pamėnkalnio Street, the participants of the seminar were introduced to the history of the Vilnius ghetto, and then, during the visit to the Paneriai Memorial, they learned the story of the largest massacre site in Lithuania. The international seminar in Vilnius had a guest from the United States, Silvia Foti, who told the teachers about her family history and shared her thoughts about her grandfather, Jonas Noreika (General Vėtra/Storm/).

According to Oana Nestian – Sandu, an employee of the TOLI Institute and the seminar host, “it is important for us that the seminars raise questions that teachers and lecturers would look for answers to.”

On the last day of the seminar, on October 28, teachers took part in a commemoration event in Kaunas to mark the “Great Action” that took place on October 28 – 29, 1941. Teachers from Lithuania, together with teachers and students from several schools, representatives of the Kaunas Jewish community, and other guests of the event, walked on the “Road of Memory” from Demokratų Square to the IX Fort Museum in Kaunas, remembering the Kaunas ghetto prisoners who marched to their death on October 28.

The international seminar was attended by 25 teachers from all over Lithuania. It was the third seminar organized by the TOLI Institute in Lithuania. The first took place in October of 2019. The second one in 2020 was held online due to the pandemic. The organization team was happy that the third seminar could be held live.