“Tolerance is what keeps humanity together, I believe.”
—Anne Willem Meijer, Member of the Dutch Resistance
“I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot by high school and college graduates. So, I am suspicious of education.
My request is:
Help your children become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths or educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.”
– An excerpt of a letter written by a Holocaust survivor to educators, published in “Teacher and Child” by Dr. Haim Ginott, child psychologist and author
The educational philosophy of The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is motivated by the survivor’s urgent request. Personal accounts are used in an effort to understand the lessons of the Holocaust and promote tolerance and social justice. Remembering the millions who are unable to speak, The Center shares the voices of local Holocaust survivors, liberators, refugees, rescuers and other eyewitnesses which offer messages of hope, courage, compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. In addition to preserving the history of local eyewitnesses, The Center draws upon Holocaust scholarship and research from throughout the world for its initiatives.
Equally important to understanding the historical context of the Holocaust is the study of post-Holocaust challenges and their implications for today. Specific emphasis is placed on being accountable for personal choices in order to understand the importance of action and resistance while evaluating the detrimental outcome of silence and indifference. This cultivation of critical thinking and compassion are essential characteristics to developing humane and conscientious citizens of the world.
The Center uses this philosophy to guide its activities and offers the following resources and services: