Holocaust Education Week, running from November 1 to 11, is the annual time of remembrance to honour those who suffered in humanity’s darkest chapter, and an opportunity for the lessons of history to be reaffirmed for future generations. The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Holocaust Centre of Toronto have organized far more—over 150 programs in total—than can be listed here. An impressive breadth and diversity of events and speakers will thoughtfully examine the genocide from a wide array of perspectives.
Leading scholars and academics, religious leaders, authors, and others from around the world will discuss the major issues that have shaped our understanding of the Holocaust and interrogate some of the persistently troublesome questions of the atrocities, such as continuing indifference and denial. Far from limited to the Jewish experience, numerous sessions will also offer perspectives on the millions of victims from other minority groups targeted by Nazi persecution. Discussion, in some cases, will even broaden to issues of racial intolerance, bigotry, and genocide in contemporary crises like Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Darfur. Artistic responses to the Holocaust will feature screenings of films and award-winning documentaries, a photography exhibit, theatrical readings, and even musical recitals.
Most of all, the week is about furthering our understanding through the transmission of personal stories. Survivors will flesh out the academic, political and historical framework with personal testimonies. Stories of horror, courage, survival and memory will be shared by Holocaust victims at library branches across the city. While engaging an emotionally-charged and difficult subject, Holocaust Education Week is inclusive, and its insights are essential for all of us to learn about this saddening phase of our common history.
Most events are free of charge or by donation. The comprehensive schedule and full details for individual events can be found here.
Photo of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin by chaosinjune.