This project began with efforts to develop teacher trainings for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (HHRE) led by the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum (USHMM) and TOLI. Our concept to create a free and accessible online text (an OER) became a cross-campus and later an international collaboration thanks to training with Rebus and to multiple Penn State University communities, including our Teaching and Learning with Technologies (TLT) department and our Penn State Libraries. We hope our OER will help social sciences and humanities, among other disciplines and communities include HHRE in curricula.
The Holocaust is difficult to describe, hard to understand, and even more difficult to explain. It was a destructive series of events with many roots and branches, a catastrophic period of history with global and enduring consequences. Thus, the mass murder of European Jewish people is also or alternatively described by many in Hebrew as the Shoah or ‘Destruction’ by many organizations including Yad Vashem.
Our goal in this open textbook is to inform and inspire, to understand and to remember. We chose three ‘Rs’ in our title to represent our shared purposes: Remembrance, Respect, and Resilience. In remembering the Holocaust, we work towards respecting the memories of millions of people who were killed and who died in the wake of war and genocide. We pledge to never again allow aggressors to engage in genocide, supporting Holocaust education for and about human rights. We join with those organizations, nations, and states (in the United States and around the globe) who stand up with resilience against antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia. Holocaust education is also a component of antisemitism education, improving curricula in all disciplines, especially in social studies (or social sciences) and the humanities.