Previous Study Tours
As part of the educational activities of the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, Canadian educators can participate in intensive study tours to Germany, Austria and Poland. Offered every 2-3 years when funding is available, groups tour sites of Jewish heritage, culture, and remembrance in addition to sites of destruction associated with the Holocaust, focusing on teaching the Holocaust in Canadian settings.
In Austria, participants visited Schloss Hartheim which was notorious for being one of the Nazi “euthanasia” killing centres, and the Mauthausen concentration camp. Through a generous cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, participants engaged in dialogue with pedagogical experts on issues related to teaching the Holocaust. It provided an important opportunity for participants to engage in discussions with educational officials, classroom educators as well as members of the Austrian delegation to the IHRA.
A highlight for many participants was a scheduled meeting with 96-year-old Edeltrud Becher Posiles, the last known living Austrian to be awarded the distinction of Righteous Among the Nations. Becher Posiles offered sanctuary to three Jews during the Holocaust, risking her own life in doing so. She graciously agreed to meet the group when she learnt they would be coming from Canada to learn about issues of the Holocaust, Jewish heritage and culture.
While in Poland, participants visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow where they met with IHRA expert Dr. Piotr Trojanski of the Pedagogical University. A key component of each segment of this study tour is to meet classroom educators and pedagogical experts so that learning follows a layered approach. Participants encountered first-hand the sites of Jewish culture and memory as well as tragedy, and engaged in discussions with academics and educators about current methodologies for teaching the Holocaust.
Study Tour Participants represent all segments of Canada’s education system including middle and high school teachers in both the public and Catholic school systems, as well as school board officials. Geographically, the program includes teachers from Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
A unique educational program that brings teachers, teacher candidates and faculty to sites of Jewish memory in Austria and Poland. Holocaust Educator Study Tours are funded in part by private donors, so we are able to offer scholarships to qualifying teachers. The program is limited to 24 teacher participants and is led by professional Holocaust educators and, where possible, a Holocaust survivor.
By visiting historic sites of destruction (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and Mauthausen), life (Jewish quarter, synagogues), and culture (POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews) participants actively encounter living history. These encounters are supplemented with pedagogical methods and expertise to enable participants to teach about the Holocaust in new and meaningful ways when they return to their classrooms.
The program has previously been offered in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2013 with participants from all parts of Canada.