Facilitating the transmission of knowledge about the eradication of Europe’s Jews is at the heart of the Memorial’s mission. The Tutsi genocide in Rwanda is proof, if any were needed, that the conditions enabling the planned destruction of part of humanity can still exist. It is therefore urgent to learn how to dissect the mechanisms of genocide to prevent it from occurring again in the future.
The Memorial adapts its educational activities to the sensibilities of each type of group and contributes to teaching about the past in order to develop a spirit of tolerance and good citizenship.
For elementary schools
- Elementary school pupils are welcome for a range of specific activities, from educational workshops to museum tours and film screenings. The Memorial tries not to shock younger children while attempting to address their concerns and answer their legitimate questions. Activities matching their age, level or interests teach them about Jewish history before and during the Holocaust.
- The educational workshops teach children about Jewish history during the Second World War tout as well as about prewar Jewish cultures. After a presentation of the historical context in the museum, they take up a specific theme and try their hands at various artistic practices.
- In addition to workshops, the Shoah Memorial offers deeper half-day courses with a wide range of educational activities. They are organized in association with partner institutions: the Museum of Jewish Art and History, Army Museum, National Archives, Leclerc-Jean Moulin Museum and Maison d’Izieu.
- “Le grenier de Sarah” (“Sarah’s Attic”) is a website introducing primary school children, especially 8-12-year-olds, to the history of the Holocaust. They will find answers to their questions about the period and adults will find an education section (see the site).
For secondary schools
- Numerous programs are organized for secondary school pupils: Memorial tours, thematic tours, tours followed by a meeting with a survivor, a visit to Drancy, museum tours, screenings-encounters and trips to places of remembrance with former deportees (especially Auschwitz-Birkenau). Traveling exhibitions are also made available to secondary schools.
- The children’s educational workshops focus on Jewish history during the Second World War as well as on prewar Jewish cultures.
- Schools are offered screenings of fictional and documentary films about Jewish history, the Second World War and the Holocaust followed by meetings with witnesses, historians, filmmakers and university professors.
- The Shoah Memorial offers deeper, half-day courses with a wide range of educational activities. They are organized in association with partner institutions: the Museum of Jewish Art and History, Army Museum, National Archives, Leclerc-Jean Moulin Museum, Maison d’Izieu, Forum des Images, National Resistance Museum (Champigny) and Cercil-Museum Memorial of the Children of the Vél’d’Hiv.
- The education department organizes guided tours of the Memorial for students of all ages. They can be thematic and include meetings with witnesses.
- It also offers guided tours of various places in the Paris region with connections to the history and memory of the Holocaust. Introductory visits to the Shoah Memorial in Paris or Drancy precede them.
- Every year between November and March, the Shoah Memorial organizes around 10 one-day study trips to Auschwitz for high schools in the Île-de-France and several French régions.
Auschwitz study trip
- The Shoah Memorial organizes study trips to Auschwitz as part of a program initiated and funded by the Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah (Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah). They include special preparation and are mainly intended for students in the final three years of secondary school. The trips are organized for an entire class, accompanied by a maximum of two teachers and former deportees. Afterwards, each teaching unit produces an education project (an exhibition, CD-ROM, film, website, etc.).
- The Memorial and the Ile-de-France Regional Council (the greater Paris regional authorities) have concluded an agreement to set up a program to raise awareness and inform young people about the Holocaust. Secondary school students and teachers in the greater Paris area are offered various free projects: information sessions for principals, teachers and librarians, student sessions, exhibitions on the Holocaust, film screenings and study trips to Auschwitz.
The Shoah Memorial participates in organizing school projects on request at Holocaust places of remembrance in France and elsewhere (sites of former concentration camps or killing centers — Treblinka, Majdanek, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald — or Drancy, Les Milles, and Rivesaltes internment camps). The study trips are part of an educational program based on in-depth, personalized preparation using appropriate, exclusive educational materials with the assistance of qualified trainers and careful follow-up afterwards.
- – The Memorial has signed a partnership with the Ile-de-France Regional Council (greater Paris regional authorities) to set up a Holocaust history awareness-raising campaign for young people. Free events are organized for high school students and teachers in the Ile de France region. Information for principals, teachers and librarians working with high school students, exhibitions and a series of films on the Holocaust and a study trip to Auschwitz are offered.
- The Shoah Memorial organizes one-day study trips to Auschwitz for 17-18-year-olds as part of a program launched and funded by the Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah (Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah). Specific preparation is provided. The trips are organized for the whole class accompanied by two teachers maximum and a former deportee. Afterwards, each team of teachers organizes a learning project (an exhibition, CD-Rom, film or website).
- The Shoah Memorial is an approved partner of the Ministry of National Education.