Hate is learned. It can be unlearned.
The Melbourne Holocaust Museum is deeply concerned about the reports of antisemitic incidents at two Victorian state schools. The incidents described are the antithesis of our mission and the core values we strive to instil in visitors every day.
Our aim is to ‘educate against hate’, making sure all Victorian school children comprehend the meaning of respect, tolerance and understanding of each other. We need to ensure that all students understand the power of words, and the fact that words can create lasting damage.
“Holocaust education in isolation is not a panacea to prevent racism and prejudice, nonetheless it contains vital lessons to build the foundations of a more accepting and inclusive society,” says Lisa Phillips, Director of Education.
“At the centre we educate thousands of students each week, many of them from schools where diversity and inclusivity are clearly embraced,” says Ms Phillips. “The messages from students reflect the powerful impact of our programs. Today, a teacher on an excursion told his students that a visit to the Centre was the most important learning activity that they will experience this year.”
The Melbourne Holocaust Museum is about to embark on a redevelopment program to enhance our ability to reach as many Victorian school students as possible with these vital messages of social cohesion.
We will continue to do our important work here, and we encourage school students and teachers to call out antisemitic behaviour, as well as racism, wherever they see it.
Cover image: Victorian school students reflecting on their experience after participating in one of the Melbourne Holocaust Museum’s education programs.