This past week we collaborated with the Embassy of Switzerland in Israel and hosted a seminar on Stimulating Historical Inquiry through the Stories of Righteous Among the Nations: the Example of Carl Lutz. The day was an emotional celebration of Carl Lutz and the tens of thousands of Jews he rescued through his work issuing protective letters in Budapest during the Second World War.
With a shared acknowledgement that this story can inspire students across the world, the day focused on exploring ways to engage multi-cultural audiences with the Holocaust through education and Carl Lutz’s story.
The first panel featured Dr. Francois Wisard, the Head of the History Unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland who spoke about Holocaust education in Switzerland, and the various challenges they face. Next was Ms. Raya Kalisman of the Humanistic Center at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum who spoke about the difficulties of teaching the Holocaust to Multi-Cultural audiences, something the center faces in their collaboration with Israeli Jewish and Arab students.
A very special addition to this panel was Ms. Agnes Hirschi, who is Carl Lutz’s step-daughter. Her firsthand account of Lutz’s inspiration and accomplishments was emotional and meaningful for all in attendance.
The second panel featured six of the students from the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. These students presented educational projects relating to Carl Lutz’s work that would appeal to young students of various backgrounds.
The day concluded with the opening of the traveling exhibilt, Carl Lutz and the Legendary Glass House Budapest, which will remain in the lobby of the University’s library through May 23rd. We were honored to have the Swiss Ambassador to Israel, Dr. Andreas Baum, and our University’s president, Mr. Amos Shapira, speak at the opening of this impressive exhibit.
We were honored to have Hungarian Ambassador Andor Nagy and our own Yitzhak Livnat as some of our many special guests.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/