The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Education Programme, designed to support schools, colleges, universities, students and teachers, has expanded and evolved significantly over the last decade. We now reach more teachers and students than ever, in person and online.

The Library’s Education Officer, Keira Fitzgerald, delivers an education session with the Holocaust Education Trust

The Library’s extensive and unique collections form the foundations of our education programme. In tours of our archives and exhibitions, our tailored student workshops and, teacher development courses; as well as our digital resources, including our educational website The Holocaust Explained, all of our educational work is shaped and led by our archival holdings. The Library’s historical documents – from Nazi official papers, to survivor accounts and materials from Jewish refugees to Britain – are the foundation of our educational work.

In June 2016 the Library took over The Holocaust Explained, an educational website designed for British schools. In 2017, were designed the website, and in 2018 we started to  integrate the Library’s own rare archival materials onto the site.

The site now features over 300 informative articles, showcases over 500 archival items from the Library’s collections, including survivor testimony, and has a section specifically dedicated to supporting teachers by providing free downloadable lesson resources. The Holocaust Explained continues to thrive as a resource, bringing unique archival material and reliable, accurate research to reach students and teachers across the world.

An example of an archival document used to illustrate educational information on The Holocaust Explained. This is a page of a diary kept kept by Ruth Wiener, the daughter of the Library’s founder, while she was incarcerated in Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen. It accompanies a case study of the Bergen-Belsen Camp. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.

Last year we added thirteen new articles to the website, including an extensive case study examining the concentration camp Ravensbrück, an article on the Bermuda Conference of 1943, and a case study on the Nazi occupation of Greece. In 2022 the site received 2,262,829 page views from 1,376,448 users across the world from 229 countries.

In 2021 the team was joined by a new Education Officer, to enhance the Library’s educational outreach to schools and universities through the delivery of more tailored talks and workshops. The sessions help participants to critically consider topics they are learning about in their classrooms while exploring original archival documents, often for the first time. The workshops we have offered cover a variety of topics including The Oppression of the Black Community in Nazi-Occupied Europe; Understanding Complicity during the Holocaust; Antisemitism in the 1930s; and the Kindertransport.

Over the past year, we have delivered 50 education sessions, reaching 1,319 students and 157 teachers and educators across 45 educational institutions. Each session is delivered by members of the Library’s experienced education team and guided by the British curriculum. The schedule of talks and workshops we hold each term is aimed at teachers and students wishing to deepen their understanding of the Holocaust through engagement with contemporary archival documentation.

Our vision is of a continuously developing education programme for the UK with an international reach. With the global rise in the prevalence of conspiracy theories, extreme political ideologies and antisemitic abuse, Holocaust education is more important than ever. At the Library we are committed to equipping students and teachers with the knowledge and resources required to combat such challenges in their places of learning.