Sat. May 28th, 2022

news, federal politics, Stuart Robert, Holocaust, museum

A new National Holocaust Museum in Canberra, not far from Parliament House, is expected to begin construction this year, with the federal government pledging an additional $ 1.3 million to complete it, as well as a new study showing that a quarter of Australians know little or nothing about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marks the liberation 77 years ago of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the largest of Nazi death camps from World War II, in which more than a million people were killed. Marking the day and amid reports of anti-Semitic incidents in Australia, a new survey of 3,500 Australians has found that last century’s systematic, state-sponsored atrocities are disappearing from memories. The Gandel Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, conducted by Deakin University, found that 24 percent of respondents had little or no knowledge of the Holocaust, and that number rose to 30 percent among younger adults. “It’s worrying across the board if you think about the destruction of six million lives. Unprecedented in any modern history,” Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert told The Canberra Times. “In Melbourne, you have more Holocaust survivors outside of Israel than any other city on earth. So our connection is quite extraordinary in terms of what it is. And of course we have our connection militarily. So that’s worrying.” The Nazis murdered around six million Jews. Another 11 million members of other groups were also systematically killed in the Holocaust, including Poles, Serbs, slaves, political opponents, the disabled, and people of different sexual orientations. Robert described the Gandel study as “essential” and an “important piece of work”, repeating the saying that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. “Unless we educate, we begin to gain ignorance and naivety through increasing anti-Semitism, and we see it as we move forward, which is deeply disturbing,” the minister said. “It is important that today’s generation grows up understanding what humanity is capable of doing if they step outside proper democratic boundaries and right situations.” READ MORE: Another $ 1.3 million announced Thursday to establish the Canberra Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Forrest brings the Commonwealth’s financial commitment up to about $ 2 million. In October, the ACT government announced $ 750,000 to fund an education program and interactive digital learning tools. The new museum is expected to display basic Judaism practices, beliefs and rituals, as well as Jewish life in pre-war Europe before its destruction during the Holocaust. “Communities need to understand what happened in the Holocaust and what factors led to the actions,” ACT Jewish Community President Karen Tatz said in a statement. “The center will make a valuable contribution to the education of visitors to the National Jewish Memorial Center, especially the groups of school children who visit regularly.” “The nature of the Holocaust will be illustrated, leading to an understanding of how a democratic and law-abiding society, highlighted through the government institutions of our nation’s capital, can prevent such tragedies.” The Federal Parliament and Civics Rebate Scheme (PACER), which facilitates school trips to the country’s capital, is currently affected by COVID, but the acting education minister expects the new Canberra Holocaust Museum to become a major PACER stop. “I think it would be very valuable,” he said. “If you look at the program for children who come here to see our national institutions, our national museum, AIS, Questacon, museums and the like, this will be a very, very valuable contribution.” The ACT Jewish Community, which expects construction to begin by the end of 2022, says the new museum will join the nationwide collection of centers celebrating the Holocaust. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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