Paideia Regional Alumni Conference in Stockholm, 2010
April 23-25, 2010
During an unusually sunny weekend in late April, some 50 Paideia alumni gathered in Stockholm for the second in a series of three regional alumni conferences taking place in Vilnius, Stockholm and Kiev in 2010.
At the focus of the conference was rethinking European Holocaust commemoration and education.
Until now Paideia has put its emphasis on the future of European Jewish life, but students and alumni have expressed their concern with politicized Holocaust commemoration in parts of Europe and the complete lack of Holocaust education in other parts. The 200 alumni in 32 European countries are recognizing their political and intellectual force on this and other issues in Europe.
During the three-day conference, the alumni met in cross-regional groups to identify the most pressing issues in Holocaust education, to envision potential change, and to brainstorm specific programs that could cater to the needs. The weekend also offered inspirational meetings with actors in the field, such as the Forum for Living History, storyteller Amanda Glans, and Dresden-based artists Marion Kahneman.
Toward the end of the weekend a number of position papers were presented on the following topics: “Who should have the right to define the Holocaust narrative?,” “Should the perspective on Holocaust be widened to, for example, include human rights?,“ “The Holocaust as part of national histories – especially in the former Soviet Union” and on “The importance of presenting European Jewish Identity as something current and beyond the Holocaust.”
The weekend was concluded with a musical performance by this year’s graduate student, Walter Benjamin fellow Romina Reisin from Argentina.
The alumni gathering was generously supported by Diane and Howard Wohl.