On Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 40 students from the first- and second-grade of senior high schools from the Magnesia prefecture visited the Jewish Museum of Greece. The educational visit of the students and their teachers was realised within the framework of the JMG’s collaboration with the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, which has designed and implemented an Educational Pilot Programme for the History and Teaching of the Holocaust, approved by the General Secretariat for Religious Affairs of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, in collaboration with the Directorate of Secondary Education of Magnesia and the Jewish Community of Volos. The programme involved a competition with a prize of a study tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
The students were introduced to the historical presence of the Jewish community in Greece by Anastasia Loudarou, an archaeologist and special researcher at the Museum. Orietta Treveza, responsible for the JMG’s educational programs, then guided them through the Museum and its permanent exhibitions while outlining the history and culture of Jewish communities around Greece. Afterwards, the students were given a guided tour of the Holocaust exhibition by Alexandra Patrikiou, an historian and special researcher at the JMG, who took questions and discussed the topic in greater detail.
The winners of the competition, together with their teachers, attended a special preparatory seminar for the study tour to the former extermination camp. An interesting conversation ensued, which covered details on the camp itself and focused on the experiences of the Greek Jews that were deported and murdered there. Those specific stories captured the students’ attention, who requested to hear more testimonies in addition to those originally planned (Errikos Sevillias and Shlomo Venezia). Finally, they were provided with some travel tips.
Meanwhile, the other students participated in a tour of the Museum’s temporary exhibitions and viewed a short documentary on the Jewish neighbourhoods of Greece. Upon leaving, all participants were provided with educational material.