Moral Responsibility – Workshops

The HEGP is making available to schools the multimedia educational programme, Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future. The programme was developed in conjunction with Austrian Holocaust Memorial Interns. To date, the Gedenkdieners have addressed several universities, colleges, and high school classes, detailing their motivation for choosing Gedenkdienst rather than mandatory military service. The response to Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future has been overwhelmingly positive and several speaking engagements have been given and are scheduled in schools across Quebec and Ontario.

The presentation is particularly relevant given the contemporary savagery occurring daily in the Middle East as well as the recent tragic murders in Canada of Warrant Officer Patrick Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo. Only through educating young people about the danger of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination can we attempt to change the climate of hatred, which exists in many multicultural environments.

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PROJECT GOALS

The project is concerned with the need to oppose the worldwide threat engendered by ignorance, indifference, discrimination, racism, and moral cowardice.

  • To provide an overview of the Shoah (Holocaust), as well as addressing the current Syrian refugee crisis. .
  • The theme, “Abuse of Power” is addressed with specific reference to Austria’s role in the Holocaust and the subsequent view of Austrians as the first victim of Nazism.
  • The role of the Internet in disseminating information is contrasted with the media during the time of the Shoah. In addition to the immediacy of the information on the Internet, reference is made to its destructive potential for fomenting and proliferating hatred in this digital age. The need to think critically underscores the dialogue.
  • To address how the propagandist interchanges fact and fiction in order to achieve their nefarious goals.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS

  • The role of media in shaping and creating images of national identity.
  • The influence of media in creating and prioritizing social issues.
  • The effects of immigration policies on refugees and would be immigrants.
  • The moral responsibility of individuals and the collective responsibility of governments.
  • To examine the standards which societies apply when addressing how much “tolerance” is acceptable? For example, do Western societies allow the female genital mutilation of young women? Is it acceptable for a Sikh student to wear the ceremonial dagger (kirpan) in school?
  • To address the distinction between advertising and propaganda.

Clearly, not every goal and discussion topic can be realized in one presentation ⎯ it is critical that teachers convey prior to the presentation what is most significant for their class.
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TARGET AGE GROUP

12-23

 

TIME

The presentation itself is 45-60 minutes long. In order to encourage discussion during the presentation an hour-long session is optimal..

 

EQUIPMENT

LCD projector and screen

 

COSTS

There is no cost for the presentation, however, a donation to the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Foundation (Canadian non-profit organization, registration number: 890404163RR001) is greatly appreciated to offset travel costs from schools and organizations outside of Montreal.

 

Do not hesitate to call should you require further information or to book a presentation.

 

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