«Jewish Observer»
JEWISH UKRAINE
20/39
October 2002
5763 Cheshvan

HOLOCAUST - PAST AND FUTURE
YULIA SMILYANSKAYA
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The second seminar of Ukrainian center for Holocaust studies was held in Alushta September 20-22. It was organized with the help of Scientific methodical center of higher education, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Institute for political and ethnic national studies of Ukraine. The host this time was the Tavria national University. The reception was very warm - due to both weather and wonderful organization combined with hosts' hospitality.

It may seem that seminars held within one scheme by the same group of lecturers should look alike. Nonetheless, the results in Alushta and Vinnitsa turned out absolutely different. Practically all lecturers of 16 higher educational institutions from 13 towns of Ukraine's South have already familiarized themselves with the Holocaust theme while teaching other courses (only three persons gave a negative answer to a relevant item). The most substantial answer in the item "Has any of your students ever worked over the Holocaust theme?" was given by Sergei Filimonov - "a post-graduate Mikhail Tyagly works over a candidate's dissertation..." Mikhail Tyagly - one of the most active organizers of this seminar - read two lectures, told the audience about his book "Holocaust in Crimea".

The seminar organizers understood a prevailing form of further work should become a dialogue: participants do have something to tell one another. So, each lecture was succeeded by discussing raised problems, interpretations, separate theses and lecturer's utterances. Questions were both methodical and factual. Thus, the Alushta seminar turned, at a certain moment, to a conferential form of work.

Analysis of questionnaires widened a list of subjects to deal with Holocaust. Beside the courses "History of Ukraine", "Newest history", "Ukraine in the years of WWII" and others, this theme was present in the courses "Civil education", "Ethno psychology" (section "Ethnic conflicts"), "Religion studies", "Country studies" (in particular, "Crimean studies"),"Philosophy of history"... and even in such course as "West European Middle Ages". Oleg Kozyrev dwells on this theme in special courses "History of Jewish nation", "Jews of Ukraine", A.Kondrashova reads a special course on the Holocaust theme.

Questionnaires contain many suggestions. Among them - inviting specialists - psychologists, experts in the sphere of interethnic conflicts, lecturers from Moscow, Petersburg, Israel, reducing the number of lectures and providing more time for questions and discussions, conducting regular seminars (with a fixed periodicity) to discuss one- two concrete issues the Ukrainian center for Holocaust studies intends to put to life.

Of particular importance is Oleg Kozyrev's suggestion - to introduce a specialization connected with the Jewish history into the syllabi of pedagogic higher institutions. A corresponding supplementary to a diploma could become, on the one hand, a stimulus for a student and, on the other, - allow widening a circle of specialists in the given theme and increasing a professional level of its teaching.

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