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History, Remembrance and Religious Education

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Edited By Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis

How should the Holocaust be taught in schools, and to what end? What role should religious education play in recounting and remembering this human catastrophe? How has the nature and purpose of religious education changed and developed over time? What contribution should religious education make to identity formation, particularly regarding the role of memory, heritage and tradition? The scholarly reflections in this volume, drawing upon historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives, provide insights into past, present and potential future developments in religious and values education in a range of national contexts, including Germany, Israel, Norway, Canada and South Africa. The chapters fall under three headings: fostering a culture of remembrance; historical perspectives on religious education; and history, tradition, memory and identity. Together they form a unique collection of international perspectives upon these interlocking themes.
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3 Holocaust Remembrance and Human Rights Education: A Task for Religious and Interreligious Education in Switzerland

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Abstract

What do young people in Switzerland know about the Holocaust, from whence do they acquire their knowledge, how is this knowledge connected with their understanding of human rights and what implications should this have for religious and interreligious education? This chapter includes an overview of Swiss educational policies in this field based on the current political situation of activities related to Holocaust remembrance, displays data of a current survey on Holocaust remembrance and the understanding of human rights, and considers possible consequences and tasks for Religious Education as interreligious education. It will finally draw some lines on the possible cooperation between human rights education and (inter-)religious education.

Background of Swiss history and current political situation

Reflections on Holocaust remembrance in the sense of a specific form of formal and personality-oriented education must consider the historical and actual context within which Holocaust Education and education for democratic citizenship take place, including the organizational framework and political institutions that provide such educational work. Therefore, we begin with some general remarks on this political setting. ← 55 | 56 →

Between 1933 and 1945, Switzerland played the role of a so-called neutral state. As a result, in Swiss society and schools, reflections and debates about that time and especially about the Holocaust have been very different from the public debates in Germany or Austria, for example. Especially since the Bergier Report (Heimberg, 2002), Switzerland has become more aware of its role and involvement in...

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