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Lessons for Civil Society Organizations


4. Preventing and combating Holocaust distortion

At crucial junctures, every individual makes decisions and… every decision is individual.

Raul Hilberg

Learning Objectives

  • To increase awareness of concrete measures that can be taken to prevent and counter Holocaust distortion
  • To generate commitment for taking action to prevent and counter Holocaust distortion

Learning Activities

  1. Reaction to and Prevention of Holocaust Distortion
  2. Concrete Measures for Preventing Holocaust Distortion
  3. Further Resources

Suggestions for Trainers

The activities in this unit ask participants to reflect upon the importance of reacting to and preventing Holocaust distortion, as well as upon their own responsibility in this regard, by offering them the opportunity to identify concrete contexts and factors that facilitate action.

The first activity starts with two videos in which the interviewees express opinions about how to react to Holocaust denial and distortion which are quite different – one that calls for immediate action and one that transmits the idea that people who express such beliefs should not be given a platform to share their views. Different reactions can be valid for different contexts and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that can function in every context and with every individual. Understanding the context is very important, in order to understand what kind of reactions are relevant for which context. The activity continues with reflection about the difference between reacting to and preventing Holocaust distortion and with case study analyses. The case studies address various forms of Holocaust distortion and disagreements among participants might arise in the process of analyzing them. The case studies offered in the annex are hypothetical, but they are based on concrete forms of distortion that are present in various countries. Should disagreements arise in the process of analyzing the cases, the trainer should encourage participants to find a common ground and remind them of the importance of respectful communication. The trainer can offer participants information on how to access further resources should they want to learn more about situations that are related to the cases they are asked to analyze.

The second activity invites the participants to think of concrete measures for preventing Holocaust distortion, in different areas of life. The participants should be given the option of choosing the group they want to join, according to their interest and expertise, or to propose a new topic that is relevant to their context. This is a very practical task and the more it connects with participants’ regular activities the higher the likelihood is that participants will be able to implement their learning in their professional setting.

The recommendations for individual study offered in this unit can be shared with the participants and should be consulted by the trainer when preparing the training.

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