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TO BEAR WITNESS
The educational kit for teaching the Holocaust and its lessons is a collection of 39 photographs in a framework of 20 black-and- white posters.
The photos, from the “Yad Vashem” Archives present the subject of the Holocaust as seen through the prism of a series of historical events, figures, places, occurrences, and concepts particular to that period such as: the rise of Nazism, the formation of the ghetto, Einsatzgruppen, deportation, extermination camps, the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt, the Partisans, Liberation, the “Brichah”, illegal immigration and the Righteous Among the Nations.
These carefully selected photographs, were intended – on the one hand – to describe the above historic developments in their various stages and on the other hand – to cognitively involve the onlooker and thus, to encourage him to experience ethical dilemmas and ideological challenges, by describing what happened in a manner within easy grasp.
These posters – in addition to serving as an exhibit of great influence, are to be used on Yom Hashoah Memorial Days – have several pedagogical options. For instance, each picture can serve as a separate topic, on its own, as a learning unit; it can serve as a medium focusing on the subject and/or on a certain period in the unfolding of the Holocaust.
Each picture, as a visual presentation characterizing a special manifestation in the period of the Holocaust in its various stages, strengthens the words of the historian Lucjan Dobrosvycki:
“Pictures stand in a special relationship to time for they describe only the present, but to the extent that the past continues to be a part of the present, the photograph can capture it as well.”
Furthermore, it is suggested to use the kit as the factual and ideological basis for seminars and workshops on themes relating to the Holocaust. Each picture – in presenting a certain subject visually, with a minimum of text – serves as an ideological catalyst and provides immediate stimulation promoting a reaction.
The pictures do not bring up questions that can be answered simply, nor do they provide quick, easy responses. Nevertheless the very process of raising questions and fruitless search for a reply, have great significance.
Any stubborn attempt to define, to interpret and to understand that which is impossible to understand will, in itself, take the subject of the Holocaust out of the dimension of “the other planet” and will place it somewhere in the stream and reality of human experience.