Amsterdam launches new Holocaust support program for educators

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, announced its intention to establish a new support centre for schools about Holocaust education and antisemitism in mid-February.

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, announced its plan in mid-February to launch a new support centre for schools that have questions or need advice about Holocaust education and antisemitism, reports the NL Times.

The revelation came a week after the Anne Frank House revealed its new research, which shows that 42 per cent of secondary school teachers have witnessed antisemitic incidents in the classroom in the past year, with an additional 23 per cent of people in the Netherlands who were born after 1980 thinking that the deaths of six million Jews during the Holocaust are either a myth or is grossly exaggerated.

In the past couple of months, several antisemitic incidents were committed by extreme right-wing activists, who used laser projectors to project antisemitic messages on the Erasmus Bridge, on the side of a building and on the Anne Frank House. The statements included Holocaust distortion.

“We cannot and will not look away if the horrific facts of the Holocaust are insufficiently known to so many people,” said Marjolein Moorman, the city’s education alderman, in a statement. “We must help the schools that need support with this. That is why the municipality wants to provide schools with the necessary support to make this topic a subject for discussion in the classroom.”

The support centre will be established in collaboration with the office of the National Coordinator for Combating Antisemitism (NCAB). The centre will provide references to educators looking for ways to effectively teach the Holocaust to students, as well as pedagogical support. The details are still being worked out and will involve experts and Amsterdam educators.

“Holocaust education is a crucial part of the fight against antisemitism, discrimination and exclusion. This dark period of our history should not pass by any student. It is therefore important to consider how we can organize assistance to teachers who request it as easily as possible,” said Eddo Verdoner, the current National Coordinator for Combating Antisemitism.