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Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Holocaust, Human Rights and Intercultural Education

Publication by: Oana Nestian-Sandu


Publication type

Book (Monography, Handbook or Edited volume)

Language of publication


Abstract of the publication

This Handbook is the result of over a decade of dedicated work with thousands of teachers across Europe, conducted by The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI) in partnership with organizations from ten European countries. Drawing inspiration from these collaborative efforts, the Handbook presents an interdisciplinary methodology that has garnered appreciation from educators for its ability to bridge historical events with contemporary issues. The Handbook aims to empower teachers to engage their students in meaningful educational activities that respect historical truth and human dignity. By combining Holocaust education, human rights education, and intercultural education, this interdisciplinary approach seeks to cultivate a deep understanding of the past and its connection to the present, fostering the development of democratic and intercultural societies where every individual can live with dignity. By viewing the past through the lens of human rights, educators and students can gain a profound understanding of how events like the Holocaust were made possible, the role of propaganda, and the progressive erosion of rights for Jewish people and other groups targeted by the Nazis and their collaborators. Simultaneously, the study of the Holocaust provides valuable insights into the necessity of taking action against current human rights violations. In this handbook, educators will find: a rationale for an interdisciplinary approach combining Holocaust education, human rights education and intercultural education; an explanation of the ways in which this interdisciplinary approach can lead to the development of competences for democratic culture; an overview of the methodologies which are best suited for an interdisciplinary approach; a set of educational activities that can be used by the teachers with their students; as well as recommendations for further reading.

Thematic focus

Other Approaches

Local History

Transnational History

Histories of Authoritarian Regimes and Dictatorships

Histories of Discrimination and Persecution

Histories of Violence

History of Anti-Semitism


Remembrance / Collective Memory

Primary Schools

Secondary Schools

Teacher Training

History Didactics / Teaching Practices

Innovative Approaches

Multi-Perspectivity in History Teaching

Resources and Learning Materials for History Education

Teaching Sensitive Histories