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Statement by Center and Fond “Holocaust”concerning the poll: “Is it necesseray to teach the Holocaust in Russian schools?- Opinions of the clergy”

4th May  2012
  On 4th May  the results of a poll among the  Russian clergy about teaching the Holocaust in Russia, conducted by «Regions.ru / News from the Federation."  were published: see (Http://www.regions.ru/news/2406292/)  It became clear that parts of  the Russian society are not ready to admit the obvious fact that the Holocaust is a constitutive element of the history of our country. In particular  on  the occupied Soviet territories, including  23 regions of Russia, almost half of all victims of the Holocaust perished.  It was not by chance that the date for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established by the UN General Assembly,  became the day of the  liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army
It is deplorable how distortedly the first important steps of the Ministry of Education and Science were reported  performing the training of  pedagogues on this subject  in accordance with  Russia’s international obligations  In March 2012 t the mass media reported the introduction of training modules on Holocaust of 72 hours in the regional training institutes of further education. It was developed by our colleagues from the regions and has been tested at the Federal Academy for Further Education. 60 teachers have been trained in the framework of this program. At the same time it was reported that the subject Holocaust was included  into the standard State Exam. Apparently for political purposes  the public was informed  that the72h  course  will be given in high schools.
Unfortunately a number of respected mass media. fell for this provocation.  It is not by chance that the initiators of the poll did not address  our organization, conducting almost 20 years educational seminars and editing textbooks on the subject. We declare definitively that the subject Holocaust is present in many books on domestic and world history, it has been  included in the training  program of institutes for further education in more than 30 regions of our country During  the last 4 years with the support  of a Presidential  grant educational seminars on the topic were held in 24 cities from  Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk  and from Krasnodar to Tomsk. In the last competition for school and university students and teachers of Russia "Lessons of the Holocaust - the path to tolerance" 2,000 representatives of 68 republics, territories and regions of Russia took part In schools and colleges the history of the Holocaust is taught as an integral part in connection with many  topics  and  within the frameworks of many curriculums and more and more  also in extracurricular and research activities. Nobody insisted on a module from this  scale which was in mind of those criticizing the Ministry  of Education and Science. But the lack  of systematic knowledge also in the preparation of the general examen (EGE)  just leads to such a situation that young people  in a  live TV show  answer  on the question what is Holocaust to the  the amusement o the whole civilized world:” Holocaust  that is  a sort of glue”
It is repeated again and again  that  during  the war all  peoples of our country suffered. This is absolutely true. But Nazi ideology  built a clear hierarchy, determining  which  peoples had to be annihilated  totally or in parts.  Nazis assigned  the Jews to be the first  but not the last victims.
One might  not  love the Jews and Israel but is therefore right to apply ones prejudices on that what is recognized by  the whole civilized world. Is it reasonable to forget about the heroism of those who were shot only for the reason that they hide their Jewish neighbors ad friends Do you remember Aleksej Glagolev, Mother Mary,  dozens of priests who issued falsified  baptismal certificates. Just simple Christian believers, including the well known Japanese diplomat Chyiune Sugihara(.who converted to Christian faith) So  will we better understand the lessons of this war, and the core of Nazi ideology? Or will we continue to wonder why the swastika appears primarily on the  monuments to Holocaust victims and Jewish cemeteries?
It should be noted that the in the course of the poll  Russia's Catholics and Protestants were not involved. And yet  this  represents a central issue in the Churches attempts to  atone for the crimes of the Nazis and their accomplices: unfortunately  many of the executioners were devote Christians. That is why the Protestant organizations in Russia made a significant contribution  to the establishment of a memorial in Lubavitch last November
At the eve of the Victory Day it is appropriate to remember that this day only in our country and in Israel is celebrated on  9th May. The issue of the Holocaust  and the fact that  our army liberated dozens of ghettos. concentration and death camps remains nearly unknown to  our youth. Unfortunately there is no national memorial day of the victims of the Holocaust and the liberators for which we are striving already ten years. In particular the government and the society  should understand now that the universal lessons of the Holocaust have to be acknowledged in Russia.
The  theme of  Holocaust–is very difficult and painful. The debate about its place in the national memory was  led in almost all Eastern European states. As a result, Lithuania declared 2011 the Year of the Holocaust, the  27th January  became the  National Day of Remembrance in the Ukraine (despite of another  widely remembered date –the  Day of  Babij Yar). In Latvia they released postal stamps with  rescuers of Jews and  Righteous Among the Nations. In almost all countries the governments awarded people who saved Jews: unfortunately this is not the fact  in Russia.
The  topic  Holocaust does not divide the descendants of the victims, as some respondents of the poll try to prove . It helps to understand the words of our Russian national philosopher Mikhail Gefter, that "there is no genocide against one people - genocide is always directed against all."
 
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