Teachers trained on power of the media in preventing another Holocaust

Jan 13, 2015

Teachers from across Western New York gathered in West Seneca Monday for a day-long seminar where they were armed with the tools they need to teach about the Holocaust and ongoing human rights abuses. 

Teachers surround a panel of Holocaust survivors.
Credit Photo by Mark Scott / WBFO News

Sophia Veffer told teachers the ranks of Holocaust survivors are diminishing with each and every year.

Monday's seminar at the Erie 1 BOCES Education Campus focused on the use of media to both promote and prevent genocide. More than 100 teachers turned out to learn how they can help students understand the power of media.

Dr. Herman Stone, another Holocaust survivor, says it will be up to teachers to keep future generations informed about what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany.

"We want to be sure it never happens again," Stone said.

Back in World War II, it was the printed word in the form of newspapers and fliers as well as some radio that spread Nazi propaganda.  Today, the media has expanded to social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which give terrorists as well as those who fight them a voice.

Nicole Pauly is a teacher at Kenmore East High School.  She says the stories of Holocaust survivors are made relevant to students by what they're experiencing today.

"They get to tie it in with their real world experiences, such as what went on in France last week" Pauly said.

The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo organized Monday's seminars.  Their website has the video testimony of survivors in easy to digest segments, so that their stories will live on long after they're gone.