United Nations Public Information Department, United States Holocaust Museum Link with Latin American Students to Promote Holocaust Education

21 April 2010
PI/1927

United Nations Public Information Department, United States Holocaust Museum Link with Latin American Students to Promote Holocaust Education

21 April 2010
Press Release
PI/1927
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Public Information Department, United States Holocaust Museum

 

Link with Latin American Students to Promote Holocaust Education

 


The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will hold its first video conference with students in seven countries in Latin America to help promote Holocaust education, today, 21 April.


United Nations Information Centres in Asuncion, Bogota, Buenos Aires, La Paz, Lima, Mexico City and Panama City will bring local high school students together to hear the personal testimony of Margit Morawetz Meissner, a Holocaust survivor, who will speak from the Museum in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Meissner, a gifted linguist, was sent to Paris from Prague to study when the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938.  Just prior to their arrival in France, young Margit managed to escape with her mother, via Spain and Portugal, to the United States, where they settled.  After the war, Ms. Meissner returned to Europe during the Nuremberg war crimes trials to be with her husband, who worked for the United States military.  She later taught school in the United States and Argentina.  She is currently retired and a volunteer at the Museum.


“I wrote my autobiography to help young people see how destructive hatred is and how it nearly ruined my life as a 16-year old student,” said Ms. Meissner.  “I encourage the students to imagine living through a similar experience, so that they can understand why it is important to stand up for what is right,” she added.


Prior to the video conference, the United Nations Information Centres will brief the students on the history of the Holocaust, using tools such as the United Nations Holocaust Programme’s “Footprints for Hope” kit, which includes a film entitled Footprints: Discovering the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts, a lesson plan and a PowerPoint presentation.  The Centres will also draw on materials posted on the Programme’s online pedagogical resource, the “Electronic Notes for Speakers”, produced in Spanish in partnership with the Museum.


The Museum is a long-time partner of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme.  In 2007, the two institutions developed a week-long training seminar in English and Spanish for the National Information Officers of 10 United Nations Information Centres from Latin America on the history of the Holocaust and genocide prevention.


A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders to promote human dignity, confront hatred and prevent genocide.  Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programmes and global impact are made possible by donors nationwide.


The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, was established under General Assembly resolution 60/7 to encourage Holocaust education and remembrance in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.


For more information about the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, contact Kimberly Mann, Programme Manager, tel: + 1 212 963 6835, e‑mail: mann@un.org, or visit www.un.org/holocaustremembrance.


For more information about the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, visit www.ushmm.org, or contact Andy Hollinger, tel: +1 202 488 6133, e-mail: Ahollinger@ushmm.org.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.