HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN GREECE – A productive cooperation between Education Ministry and Jewish Organizations formalized by a Ministerial Decree Print
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 10:19

The Ministerial Decree 42856/Θ2 of the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs (published in the Official Gazette of Greece, issue no 950 B / March 16, 2018), entitled “Student Contest – Educational Program on teaching about the Holocaust” comes as a capstone of a long term fruitful cooperation between the General Secretariat for Religious Affairs, the Jewish Museum of Greece (JMG) and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece for the institutionalization of Holocaust education in Greece.

It was the JMG that spearheaded Holocaust education in Greece in 2002, with specific programs for schools and educators. Later, by the continuous efforts of the General Secretariat of Religious Affairs and its Secretary General George Kalantzis, the programs were expanded to more and more schools in Athens, Thessaloniki and other Greek cities as Ioannina, Larissa, Volos, Tripoli, Patras, Chania and included also a video contest on the Holocaust. And on the top of these programs, more than 80 Lyceum Greek students pay a visit to Auschwitz memorial and Museum, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education.

The positive results of this initiative brought up the need to institutionalize cooperation between the General Secretariat of Religious Affairs and the Jewish Museum of Greece. This was materialized through the Memorandum of Cooperation, which was signed by the two parts in 2014, and describes in detail the obligations, the aim and the framework of this cooperation.

In 2015 the field visit to Auschwitz was systemized on the basis of a student competition. The nation-wide contest required the creation of a video on the history and aspects of the Holocaust. The winners of the contest won their participation to the Auschwitz visit. The groups of students and their accompanying / supervising teachers were adequately prepared through a JMG seminar, and were offered educational material and books on Holocaust history. Upon return from Auschwitz a follow up session was also organized by the JMG that included feedback information, essays and contributions of students and teachers, press articles etc.

Since then the video competition and the study visit to Auschwitz are being held on annual basis, the public interest and the motivation of the schools rises and the program has expanded to more schools from more Greek cities. Best videos are awarded by the Minister of Education during and official ceremony and are uploaded on the Greek Education Ministry’s You Tube channel.

The Holocaust education program in Greece,  thoroughly studied and carefully implemented by visionaries of the Education Ministry, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the JMG, is brought to the next level through the new Ministerial Decree transforming a productive cooperation into a pillar prorgram of Greek state policy determined to fight antisemitism and racism.

See the full text of the ministerial decree here

Download the pdf file here