Education International
Education International

Members of the Pan-European Equality Commitee honoured Memories of Holocaust Victims

published 23 April 2007 updated 23 April 2007

Members of the Pan-European Equality Standing Committee honored the memories of the victims of the Holocaust with a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp memorial on 22 April, prior to their meeting in Krakow, Poland.

"Even though the events happened 60 years ago, it still is part of our lives and we must educate people to prevent such atrocities from happening ever again," commented Veronica Rankin, Chairperson of the Pan-European Equality Standing Committee. "It is important to reflect upon what has happened in the past and not to let the memory die."

Intolerance is one of the great risks of our world, together with inequity, exclusion and injustice. The end of colonialism, of the Holocaust, of apartheid opened an era of understanding and tolerance between people.

But in every country there are still movements based on intolerance. Therefore the provision of education is crucial: education as a public service based on equity, citizenship, learning to live together.

"We cannot simply remember," said Charlie Lennon, EI Chief Regional Co-ordinator for Europe. "We must learn what there is to remember and learn from the mistakes of the past."

In a resolution adopted in 1993, Education International reminded all its members of the memory and history of all aspects of World War II and to remain vigilant about the content of educational programmes and didactic materials in a context of the resurgence of neo-Nazi ideology or groups.

The visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau was organised by the Polish teacher union ZNP, host of the Committee meeting in Krakow. Earlier this year on 27 January, on the occasion of the Day of Commemoration, EI supported the ZNP's invitation to all teachers around the world to condemn the denial of the Holocaust and support the UN Resolution by developing educational programmes to remind future generations of the tragedy.