Students from three different schools across Aberdeen have been working together to learn the lessons from past genocides to create a better society. Having been on a ‘Lesson’s from Auschwitz’ visit, pupils organised an event to speak about their experiences of visiting the concentration camp, and to raise awareness of genocide. Remembering Srebrenica’s Partnerships Officer, Amra Mujkanović, was invited to speak at the event, where she shared the story of three generations of her family who have survived concentration camps in the Holocaust and the Bosnian Genocide.
Pupils discussed their experiences of visiting Auschwitz and had the opportunity to examine and discuss the behaviours which precede a genocide and how we can challenge these behaviours to create a better future.
Aberdeen University Law students also spoke at the event, identifying key terminology with a focus on ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ and ‘Genocide’. Looking at the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, they described the process of identifying genocides and the important role that legal terminology can play in atrocities and prosecution.
The evening ended with two young musicians playing iconic pieces associated with the Holocaust. Guests were then invited to view a gallery formed of the student’s pictures taken during their visit. The gallery also involved a tree sculpture made up of the names of genocide victims from the Holocaust and Srebrenica, and attendees were encouraged to attach a name to the tree.
Events like this demonstrate the amazing impact of young people have when they have the opportunity to learn about genocide. It follows on from the launch of Remembering Srebrenica’s PSHE education pack at Portobello High School, in Edinburgh. The comprehensive set of lesson plans can be used across the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and provides students with the vocabulary to understand and condemn genocide.
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