A Hybrid Panel Discussion, jointly organised by the embassies of Israel and Germany, will be held next Wednesday (27 Jan) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), with the objective of addressing the lessons learnt from the Holocaust and its relevance of Holocaust education and commemoration in this time and era.
Hosted by NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CoHASS), the educational panel discussions comprise of scholars from Singapore, Germany, and Israel to explore the universal and educational lessons of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust refers to ‘the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators”. A watershed event in world history, it spanned geographic boundaries, affected all segments of societies, and occurred during the Nazi regime.
As the historic event continues to raise challenging moral questions, the study of it serves as an important tool for humanity; even today, 75 years after the war ended.
The upcoming panel discussion will also serve as an opportunity to commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD) as it marks the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and the end of the Holocaust on 27 January 1945.
Additionally, the Goethe-Institut Singapore will commemorate ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day’ with the screening of two internationally acclaimed films: Alain Resnais’ historic film ‘Night and Fog” (Nuit et brouillard, FRA 1956) and Christian Petzold’s ‘Phoenix’ (GER 2014).
“At the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, NTU, we take seriously our duty to instil values of global civic citizenship in all our students,” said Prof Liow, Dean of CoHASS at NTU and moderator of the panel discussion.
He continued, “To that end, it is imperative, in our view, that the education experience encompasses efforts to foster deeper understanding of events that have shaped the flow of modern history. The Holocaust is one such event.
“This tragic episode might seem at first glance to be distant for a young adult studying in Singapore today, but the deep questions surrounding it: why such an event could happen, what its consequences have been, and how to prevent its recurrence, must be reflected upon in order to build a better tomorrow.”
Ambassador of Israel to Singapore H.E. Sagi Karni asserted that the Holocaust is a “shared heritage of humanity”, and it carries a “universal message for peace and mutual understanding today”.
“Studying the history of this genocide means taking responsibility for the future. It is a call to protect and promote the dignity of all, and to build true global citizenship. We are grateful to the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore as one of the leading educational institutions in Southeast Asia for providing a venue for this discussion to be shared in the region,” he added.
Echoing the similar sentiments, German Ambassador to Singapore Dr Norbert Riedel said that Holocaust education is part of the responsibility that is and will always be of particular significance to Germany as the ‘country of perpetrators’.
“Taking up this challenging subject in a global context provides a way for all to learn how to welcome difference and diversity on the basis of respect and tolerance. Education about the Holocaust helps young people to understand better how mass violence can be prevented and to reinforce their own role today in deepening mutual understanding and respect in a world changing quickly,” he added.