Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Holocaust education ‘not enough’ to tackle antisemitism, Unesco warns

Governments must teach students more as Shoah fades from living memory, agency says

    European students need to be taught about more than just the Holocaust, Unesco said
    European students need to be taught about more than just the Holocaust, Unesco said (Photo: Getty Images)

    Openly antisemitic attitudes are no longer limited to extremist circles and are increasingly voiced in the mainstream, the United Nations’ cultural agency has warned.

    Unesco said that Jews in Europe were feeling under "renewed danger" and that while teaching people about the Holocaust is important, it is not an adequate substitute for education that aims to prevent antisemitism.

    “If anti-Semitism is exclusively addressed through Holocaust education, students might conclude that anti-Semitism is not an issue today or misconceive its contemporary forms,” the agency said in a report published on Monday.

    “It is appropriate and necessary to incorporate lessons about anti-Semitism into teaching about the Holocaust because it is fundamental to understanding the context in which discrimination, exclusion and, ultimately, the destruction of Jews in Europe took place.”

    The study – jointly produced with the OSCE, a security and democracy watchdog – calls on European governments to uses education to make young people more resilient to antisemitic ideas and ideologies.

    Unesco director-general Audrey Azoulay
    Unesco director-general Audrey Azoulay (Photo: Getty Images)

    “It is alarming that, as survivors of the Holocaust pass on, Jewish communities in Europe feel in renewed danger from the threat of anti-Semitic attacks,” Unesco’s director-general Audrey Azoulay said.

    “Anti-Semitism is not the problem of Jewish communities alone, nor does it require the presence of a Jewish community to proliferate. It exists in religious, social and political forms and guises, on all sides of the political spectrum.”

    She added: “This is both an immediate security imperative and a long-term educational obligation.”

    The document contains a list of tropes that students should be taught to identify as antisemitic.

    They include blood libel claims, the perception that Jewish people are more loyal to Israel than to their home countries and conspiracies that Jews are plotting to take over the world for their own gain.

    “It is appropriate and necessary to incorporate lessons about anti-Semitism into teaching about the Holocaust because it is fundamental to understanding the context in which discrimination, exclusion and, ultimately, the destruction of Jews in Europe took place,” the report says.

    “Similarly, the study of anti-Semitism should include some attention to the Holocaust, as a nadir of anti-Semitism in history, through the state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and their collaborators.”

World

Iran storing nuclear material near capital, Netanyahu says

Michael Daventry

Friday, September 28, 2018

Iran storing nuclear material near capital, Netanyahu says
World

'Jewish bankers caused Turkish lira crisis', governing party official says

Michael Daventry

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

'Jewish bankers caused Turkish lira crisis', governing party official says
World

Syrian volunteers evacuated as Assad's forces close in

Michael Daventry

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Syrian volunteers evacuated as Assad's forces close in
Analysis

Israel-Egypt ties have been put to the test over the past 40 years

Michael Daventry

Monday, September 17, 2018

Israel-Egypt ties have been put to the test over the past 40 years
Israel

Two ministers call for amendments to Israel's Nation State law

Michael Daventry

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Two ministers call for amendments to Israel's Nation State law
World

Austria to backtrack plans for kosher buyers' register

Michael Daventry

Friday, July 20, 2018

Austria to backtrack plans for kosher buyers' register
US News

US set to push for new Palestinian refugee definition

Michael Daventry

Friday, August 31, 2018

US set to push for new Palestinian refugee definition
World

Israel's new Nation State law undermines chances of Palestinian peace, Egypt says

Michael Daventry

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Israel's new Nation State law undermines chances of Palestinian peace, Egypt says
World

Israel closes Gaza border to goods in response to burning kites and balloons

Michael Daventry

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Israel closes Gaza border to goods in response to burning kites and balloons