Oliver Plessow

Wege der Transnationalisierung bei länderübergreifenden Initiativen der ‚Holocaust Education‘

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART101314

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Abstract

The article analyzes a sample of educational materials and guidelines produced for an international audience by cross-national ‘Holocaust Education’ initiatives – ranging from the international agency to the local grassroot project – in regard to the processes of transnationalization apparent in the texts. Embracing a discourse-analytical approach, the article discusses the educational setting (How do the initiatives try to reach out to the public, and to what extent does this reflect the implementation of a transnational approach? How do the transnational, national and local spheres interact?) and combines this perspective with a close reading of the sample. Here, the article situates the educational products of the initiatives within the holocaust discourse by reading them against a number of pivotal debates which are suited to challenge any educational program pedagogizing the Shoah: Notably, it pursues (a) how the guidelines and materials devise themselves as a contribution to democracy and human rights education; (b) how they approach genocide and mass murder comparisons; (c) how anti-semitism is dealt with; and (d) whether a postcolonial perspective is given credit. The article finds that while there is no single path to transnationalization, all examples except for two curricula from the US ignore rather than absorb national reception patterns of the Shoah. While they proclaim a universal relevance and feasibility of ‘Holocaust Education’, most of them address an ideal global learner void of any entanglement in pre-existing particular mindsets. In doing so, however, many bypass a struggle with positions which have the potential to contest the claim of the global pertinency of ‘Holocaust Education’.