Holocaust Centre celebrates 10 years

David Altshuler, Alan Benn, David Levin and Sam Abrahams, trustees of the Victor Daitz Foundation, at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

THE 10th anniversary of the opening of the Durban Holocaust and Genocide Centre (DHGC) was celebrated last month at a gala event.

The Centre launched its building expansion and the opening of its updated permanent exhibition and state-of-the-art resource centre at the gala event, which hosted internationally renowned academic experts and social justice activists.

With the new physical expansion, the Centre also changed its name from the Durban Holocaust Centre to the Durban Holocaust and Genocide Centre, bringing it in line with the national foundation to which it belongs, the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, and to emphasise its broader focus on learning the lessons of the past in order to build a more tolerant future for all.

ALSO READ: Holocaust survivor shares her memories

First opened in 2008 to support the inclusion of the history of Nazi Germany, World War 2 and the Holocaust in the National Curriculum, the DHGC is dedicated to creating a more caring and just society in which human rights and diversity are respected and valued.

Its schools programme is the essence of its work and last year alone over 5 000 learners from schools across the province visited the Centre and took part in the workshops. The Centre also hosts teacher training workshops to share methodologies and content with teachers from around the province, and regularly hosts events and initiatives, such as temporary exhibitions, public lectures, film screenings and commemorations together with partners in the diplomatic corps and civil society.

Given the shocking upsurge in hate crime and hate speech, the Centre rolled out a series of social justice issues and adult education workshops which use the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust as an example of how a democratic society can descend into unspeakable atrocity through propaganda and prejudice. Through exploring the past current issues of racism, discrimination and intolerance in ourselves and our society today can be examined and addressed.

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