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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Samuel Bak Museum: international focus on the Holocaust theme and teacher dialogue

Published: 2022-10-24
On  18–20 October, the Samuel Bak Museum in Vilnius hosted an international seminar ‘The Holocaust - a starting point for conversation: Dialogue between Lithuania and Poland’. Some 40 teachers from Lithuania and Poland attended lectures and methodological workshops conducted by historians, museums, and employees of memory institutions. The seminar was organized by Memorial de la Shoah – the Holocaust Museum in Paris – with such partners as the POLIN Museum in Warsaw, the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, and the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History.
The aim of the international seminar was to bring together Lithuanian and Polish educators for a joint discussion about the Holocaust and related education at school, providing methodological tools on how to deal with conspiracy theories and the Holocaust denial, including controversial and ambiguous historical issues. International experts from France, Germany and Poland introduced the participants of the seminar to the history of anti-Semitism, the case of the Kielce pogroms, the relationship of the Polish Home Army (Armia krajowa) and the Polish underground state with the Polish Jews, and the period of deportations from Lithuania to Siberia (1940 - 1953).
According to Ieva Šadzevičienė, acting director of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, ‘the museum appreciates the cooperation with the Memorial de la Shoah, which started back in 2016, when together with the Samuel Bak Museum (formerly the Tolerance Centre) the first joint seminar "The Holocaust, Collaborating and Mass Killings in Lithuania" was held. Then it was meant only for Lithuanian teachers, and this year it is already an international event, combining the common historical experiences of Lithuania and Poland.’
The Samuel Bak Museum is the largest branch of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, where expositions of Lithuanian Jewish art, culture, history and Judaica are located, and cultural and educational events, conferences, film screenings, and discussions on topics relevant to society are held.


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