60 Years OeAD: _erinnern.at_ – Teaching and learning about National Socialism and the Holocaust

30. December 2021 OeAD60School
With _erinnern.at_’s integration into the OeAD in 2022 Holocaust education will be even more firmly anchored in Austrian education.

_erinnern.at_ was founded in 2000 as an association of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and it is one of Austria’s leading organisations for historical-political education in the subject areas of National Socialism, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. It supports the transfer of historical and methodological-didactic knowledge into educational practice and the reflection on the causes and consequences of the Holocaust for the present.

The main areas of work include the conception and conducting of seminars and professional development for teachers and the development of teaching materials, learning websites and guides on the above-mentioned topics. In doing so, we continuously cooperate with renowned national and international partners, such as the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance). Many materials have won awards and are considered best practice internationally; their practical application is put to the test in teacher training and in seminars at teacher training colleges. At the regional and local level _erinnern.at_’s work is carried out together with decentralised network coordinators in all nine federal provinces. They organise seminars and events on site and serve as contact persons for schools.

Digital learning resources: a look at the “Digitale Erinnerungslandschaft” (“Digital Remembrance Landscape”) project  

The networks also act as a platform for the implementation of joint projects, such as the current project “Digitale Erinnerungslandschaft Österreich (DERLA) – Verfolgung und Widerstand im Nationalsozialismus | dokumentieren und vermitteln” (“Digital remembrance landscape Austria – Documenting and communicating persecution and resistance under National Socialism”).

DERLA is an interdisciplinary documentation and education project: It documents the places and signs of remembrance for the victims and the places of National Socialist terror in Austria and aims to critically examine National Socialism and the remembrance of it and its victims. At present information on Styria and Vorarlberg is available; work on the other federal provinces is in progress.

The four main components of the learning offer available on the website www.erinnerungslandschaft.at are the following:

  • An interactive map of remembrance leads to the individual places and signs of remembrance and makes their history visible.
  • In the archive of the names the biographies of all the people who are named and remembered in the signs of remembrance are presented. DERLA sets them a virtual memorial.
  • The education portal contains site-specific and site-independent offers for educational work at schools. Learning of history with DERLA can take place both on site and in the classroom.
  • The Paths of Remembrance introduce specific topics of the history of National Socialism and remembrance culture along curated routes.

_erinnern.at_ as a new programme of the OeAD

In 2022 _erinnern.at_ will become the programme for teaching and learning about National Socialism and the Holocaust run by the OeAD. On the occasion of the press release on _erinnern.at_’s integration into the OeAD Martina Maschke and Manfred Wirtitsch, representatives of the _erinnern.at_ association, said that they were convinced of the added value of the integration: “It is of enormous importance that we strongly anchor Holocaust education in education so that future generations will not forget. With the integration of the association into the OeAD our activities can be guaranteed in the long term. What is more: within the larger OeAD organisation interfaces with other educational fields can be used in a beneficial way”.

Author: Victoria Kumar, _erinnern.at_