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June 26, 2014 10:39 pm

First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week.

The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz.

Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and other sites. They will also have the opportunity to talk with leading historians and experts in the field of Holocaust education, history and research.

A majority of the participants hold PhD’s in history, political science and international relations. For many of them, this will be their first visit to Israel.

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“We are very pleased to be hosting this impressive group of academics at our International School for Holocaust Studies,” said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. “Given the significance of Turkish society in the Muslim world this is an important step. At Yad Vashem we are witnessing interest in the Holocaust that traverses countries, religion and language and are ready to meet the challenges ahead.”

The seminar was organized by Yad Vashem in partnership with the Aladdin Project, and is supported by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the ICHEIC Humanitarian Fund.

Anne Marie Revcolevschi, president of the Aladdin Project said, “I am pleased that academics from universities all across Turkey are participating in this program, and it’s a privilege to do this in partnership with Yad Vashem and Avner Shalev. We will continue our efforts to introduce Holocaust education in other parts of the Muslim world with four more conferences planned in Baku, Astana, Dakar and Rabat.”

The seminar follows an educational conference that took place in October at the Galatasaray University in Istanbul, also in partnership with the Aladdin Project. A follow-up session exploring ways to teach the Holocaust in Turkey is planned for later this year.

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