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Holocaust historian to explore role of teaching in Nazi Germany for SOE Centennial Lecture Series
Holocaust historian to explore role of teaching in Nazi Germany for SOE Centennial Lecture SeriesJanuary 18, 2007Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Among the many lessons of the Holocaust, perhaps one of the most disturbing is the complicity of people from all segments of society in enabling Nazi atrocities. The tentacles of this brutal regime penetrated all of Germany’s institutions, and the German educational system was no exception.
William F. Meinecke Jr., a historian in the Division of Education at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., has devoted his professional life to examining the role of public institutions in Hitler’s Germany and how their action and inaction contributed to the Holocaust. Meinecke will share his insights and understanding of this dark chapter in the history of modern education in his lecture “Teaching in Nazi Germany, 1935-1945: The Difficult Knowledge From the Holocaust.” The lecture, part of the Syracuse University School of Education’s Centennial Lecture Series, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. in Room 220 of Eggers Hall (Public Events Room). The lecture is free and open to the public.
In addition to the lecture, Meinecke will take part in a series of forums to be held during his visit to the SU campus.
“It is only recently that there has been serious investigation into the role of teachers and education in promoting Nazi ideology,” says Alan D. Goldberg, professor emeritus of counseling and human services and coordinator of the School of Education’s Warren Fellowship for Future Teachers at the Holocaust Museum Houston. “One of the goals of the Warren Fellowship is not only to prepare them to teach about the Holocaust and genocide but also to understand the role of teachers in promoting a democratic and just society.”
In 1992, Meinecke joined the staff at the Wexner Learning Center of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; in 2002, he became a member of the museum’s education department. Meinecke was on the design team for the center’s multimedia program on the Holocaust, the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (book and CD-ROM versions) and the Student Learning Website on the Holocaust. He is working currently on a publication to be called “The Holocaust and the Victims of Nazi Persecution.”
Meinecke holds a bachelor’s degree in German and history from the University of Maryland. He attended the universities of Bonn and Berlin and received master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.