Morning Workshops

(Historical Knowledge)


Martin Winstone, Holocaust Educational Trust

Eleanor Rathbone and the myth of ignorance: Britain and the Holocaust

How much, and when, did the British government and people know about the Holocaust? In popular mythology, Britain only discovered the horror of Nazi crimes with the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945. This session takes the campaigns of Eleanor Rathbone, nicknamed ‘the MP for refugees’, as a starting point to explore just how much was known about the Holocaust whilst it was happening, and the uncomfortable questions this raises about the responses of both politicians and public.

Dr Emily Smith, Holocaust Educational Trust

Nobert and Annelise: refugees on record and the first histories of the Holocaust

Using the untold and forgotten stories of Jewish refugees hidden in the archives of the Central British Fund - one of the key organisations behind the Kindertransport - this workshop will explore individual experiences of young people forced to flee their homes and families as a result of Nazi persecution.

Charlie Wranosky-Mills, Holocaust Educational Trust

Abba Kovner: Jewish Resistance in the Vilna Ghetto and Beyond

Abba Kovner: partisan fighter, resistance leader, poet and writer. By examining the life of Abba Kovner, this workshop will consider what constitutes resistance, address common misconceptions about the nature of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, and explore some of the conditions where resistance was possible – and not so – within the confines of the Vilna ghetto in Lithuania from 1941 to 1943.

Dr Imogen Dalziel, Holocaust Educational Trust

Julius and Martha Schild: German Jews in the Łódź Ghetto

In this workshop, students will learn about life and conditions in the Łódź Ghetto through the experiences of Julius and Martha Schild, who were deported from Germany in the autumn of 1941. They will explore the struggles with obtaining food, housing and suitable work, and consider the impact of differences in language, religious practice and class on German Jews sent to a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland. Finally, students will see what the former Łódź Ghetto looks like today, as well as local efforts to commemorate this tragic period in the city’s history.

Gabriella Burton, Holocaust Educational Trust

Rudolf Kasztner: The Complexities of Rescue during the Holocaust

What motivated people to rescue Jews during the Holocaust? What forms did rescue take, and what were the challenges involved in such acts? Through the story of Rudolf Kasztner, students will consider the decisions made and risks taken by individuals to save the lives of others during and after the Second World War.

Dr Jonny Hudson, Holocaust Educational Trust

Rudolf Höss: Perpetrating the Holocaust

In this workshop, we will delve into the life and actions of Rudolf Höss, exploring how an unremarkable man became the commandant of Auschwitz and a notorious mass murderer. We'll examine both his and his wife's behaviour during the Holocaust, shedding light on the crucial issue of perpetrator motivations. The session will segue into discussing Operation Höss, where 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz and 370,000 were murdered in just 56 days. This will lead into a broader exploration of Nazi and Hungarian perpetrators, especially significant as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz.

Dr Alasdair Richardson, University of Winchester

‘Father Jan & Father Józef’: exploring the Mosaic of victims of Nazism through the experience of Polish Catholics

It is a little-known fact that there were Polish Catholic priests on the very first transport to Auschwitz. Upon arrival they were told that they were at the very bottom of the camp ‘hierarchy’, only above Jewish prisoners. But why were they there, and why were Catholic priests singled out by the Nazis and their collaborators to be targeted? This session will explore who the various victim groups were, and why they were accused of being a ‘threat’ to Nazism. By doing so, we will have a better understanding of their different experiences in the camps.

Afternoon Workshops

(Topical Knowledge)


Dr Lisa Peschel, University of York

Performing the Ghetto: theatre as hope, memory, and testimony in Theresienstadt

Theatrical performances began in Theresienstadt shortly after the ghetto was established in late 1941. On prisoners’ own initiative several theatre troupes were formed, and they staged a wide variety of works for prisoner audiences: comedies, historical dramas, children’s plays, cabarets, etc. In this workshop, Dr Peschel will discuss her own work finding, editing, publishing and re-staging scripts from the ghetto, asking what these plays meant for the prisoners and what they could mean for audiences today. Participants willing to act out short sections of scripts are especially welcome.

Dr Barbara Warnock, Wiener Holocaust Library

Using objects to tell stories: the challenge of curating Holocaust exhibitions

Artefacts as diverse as a letter, a family photograph, a children’s board game, or a Nazi official order are more than simply objects from the Holocaust. They are witnesses that tell unique stories. In this workshop, Dr Warnock will explore what it is like to curate an exhibition on the Holocaust, drawing on her rich experience at the Wiener Holocaust Library to guide you through the entire process from aims to delivery, and will discuss the ethical and practical challenges of using documents and artefacts in exhibition curation.

Martin Winstone, Holocaust Educational Trust

The uncertain future of Holocaust sites: from climate change to Putin

Holocaust sites face an uncertain future, threatened by multiple challenges, amongst them climate change, neglect, overtourism, political interference and war. In this workshop, Martin Winstone will explore these challenges and how governments, communities and individuals can take action to try to ensure the sustainable preservation of sites for future generations.

Dr Kate Marrison, University of Sussex

Social media and the Holocaust: an opportunity or a problem?

Many of us are familiar with the pros and cons of social media, but what role can it play in Holocaust education, memorialisation and commemoration? Is there a place for Holocaust memory on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, X and Facebook? In this session, Dr Marrison will invite ambassadors to explore a range of examples to discuss how museums, memorial sites and professional memory institutions are harnessing social media, how this might change in the future, and why it is such a powerful tool in the present.

Charlie Wranosky-Mills, Holocaust Educational Trust

Visualizing Memory: Graphic Narratives and Holocaust Education

Writers have long struggled with how to portray the Holocaust in a way that is both appropriate and accurate. Since the 1970s, the graphic novel has emerged as an increasingly popular medium to tell difficult stories about the Holocaust. Examining seminal texts such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1986) and newer examples like Charlotte Schallié’s But I Live (2022), this workshop will argue for the literary merit of the graphic narrative, exploring the opportunities and challenges presented when using this form as a means of Holocaust representation in the twenty-first century.

Clementine Smith & Amy Gee, Holocaust Educational Trust

Testimony 360: People and Places of the Holocaust

Join an exciting session which explores the Trust’s newly launched programme, Testimony 360. Using interactive recordings, we will have a conversation with a Holocaust survivor, Manfred Goldberg, and we will use virtual reality to explore historical sites associated with the Holocaust– all without leaving the conference venue.

Rebbetzin Ilana Epstein, Western Marble Arch Synagogue

Jewish life and culture: reflections beyond the Holocaust

When learning about the Holocaust, it is vital that Ambassadors learn and understand the diversity and vitality of Jewish life and culture, both in the past and today. In this workshop, Rebbitzen Epstein will reflect on what it means to be Jewish today, opening an interactive space to learn about the vibrancy of Jewish life and culture, an opportunity for Ambassadors to engage with this topic and develop their understanding.