New Curriculum: Holocaust Education Lessons that feature the 38 Memory Sites
Kate Melchior developed a new unit of curricula for two age groups, enabling teachers and students in Austria and beyond to take virtual tours of the 38 Memory sites, using the Smartphone app.
The curriculum package contains two sets of curricular lesson plans and classroom material based on the content of the three guided tours. Students become the tour guides. They perform their own research on the different sites, and then collaboratively lead a tour with their classmates. One lesson track is appropriate for 4th-5th forms (13-15 years old), and the second, is to be used for 6th-8th forms (15-18). The lesson plans are in English to be accessible to the broadest number of school audiences worldwide, and are composed in appropriate language levels for non-native speaker usage. The curricula lists the relevant learning objectives and Kompetenzen addressed as they relate to the educational guidelines set by Austria’s Ministry of Education, the BMBF. The curriculum is flexible: teachers can choose to perform whichever lessons fit their classroom goals best.
Tours with Kate Melchior
A series of walking tours were developed by project intern Kate Melchior, in conjunction with the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), for bringing visitors to the 38 sites. Different thematic tours were organized to highlight a variety of topics, such as gender, group identity, or actions of resistance. Dr. Georg Traska and Dr. Jerome Segal interviewed survivors collecting eye-witness reports regarding memories connected to a specific site. The interviews were posted on the Smartphone app and integrated into the tours. Tours on occasion featured a conversation with a local resident, who can offer a first-hand account of what took place in that district.
Tours were developed for different age groups with different interests, backgrounds, and needs. Special attention was given to migratory populations in Vienna, who are especially attuned to issues of exclusion and marginalization.
Kate’s tours attracted many visitors. As many as 30+ signed up for each tour with new tours routinely added to the schedule. Participants came from as many as sixteen countries on a single tour–Israel, Germany, Austria, Hungary, USA, Canada, Turkey, Greece, Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland, Poland Thailand, Belgium, Ghana, and Russia–leading to a very rich interchange of ideas about the history of National Socialism. Kate spent many months of preparation and research to develop four tours:
- Highlights of the Vienna Ringstraβe with Kate Melchior
Meeting place: in front of the Wien Museum in Resselpark
This tour will visit some of the major highlights and familiar symbols of the Wiener Ringstraße and talk about their lesser known history during WWII. Tour highlights will include the Wiener Staatsoper, the Naturhistorisches Museum, and the University of Vienna.
- Political Systems: National Socialism in Vienna with Kate Melchior
Meeting place: in front of the Russian Monument in Schwarzenbergplatz
This tour will discuss some of the legal and political systems introduced to Vienna under National Socialism, exploring issues of visas and travel, seizure of property, the justice system and prison. Highlights will include the Chamber of Labour, the Chinese Consulate, the Tribunal of Vienna, and the Josefstadt Prison. Photos by Bianca Ioanidia.
- A Day in the Life: Pre-War Jewish Communities of the Leopoldstadt and Alsergrund Districts with Kate Melchior
Meeting place: in front of the Nestroyhof Theater at Nestroyplatz 1, 1020
This tour will visit several cultural institutions in two of Vienna’s Jewish neighbourhoods and discuss aspects of their history in the community both before and during WWII. Tour sites will include the Talmud Thora School, the Home for Mixed Marriages, and the Seegasse Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest preserved Jewish cemetery in Vienna and includes headstones dating as far back as the 16th century.
Tours with Peter Mlczoch
In addition to Kate’s tours, a tour also occurred on May 8th at 16:00 with Dipling Peter Mlczoch and Walter Juraschek in partnership with Gebietsbetreuung. Starting point: 2., Tempelgasse 5
- Destroyed Jewish Culture in the Second District with Dipling Peter Mlczoch and Walter Juraschek. For more information, contact: email@example.com
“Outdoor Seminars” as Walking Excursions to the 38 Sites
Historian, Dr. Jérôme Segal, conducts ongoing “OUTDOOR SEMINARS” about the 38 memory sites, into 2015. Visitors coming to Austria can contact Jerome about the outdoor seminars. As the expert in charge of developing and researching the 38 sites, Jérôme presents an in-depth discussion about the sites in relation to the history of National Socialism in Vienna. He also weaves in a discussion of the oral history interviews conducted with survivors at the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss. Visitors can also conduct independent tours using the Smartphone app.