“Nobody told us about what happened”: The current state of Holocaust Education in Romania
This research study sought to understand the current state of Holocaust education in Romanian classrooms and how sociocultural and institutional forces influence its treatment. By identifying the obstacles, challenges, and successes of Holocaust education in Romania, this study can both disseminate the techniques and conditions that bring about meaningful Holocaust education and provide a generative knowledge base for curriculum proposals, symposia, and other initiatives that seek to disrupt reticence on this topic. Given their recent accession to the European Union, this is a timely study that also examines Romania’s educational efforts concerning the development of democratic skills and dispositions, many of which often result from addressing controversial topics and closed areas, including the Holocaust in Romania. Holocaust education is a relatively new phenomenon in Romania and studying its inception can offer insights for other societies and cultures that are working to introduce Holocaust or controversial issues into their middle and high school curricula. As more post-Soviet and post-communist states attempt to build pluralistic, tolerant, and open-minded societies, their treatment of historical silences and the renegotiation of their past becomes a critical feature for the development of democratic citizens. Holocaust education is well-qualified to meet the demands of citizenship education as it helps to promote tolerant societies free from prejudice, racism, and bigotry, while simultaneously promoting the inclusivity of others, justice-oriented dispositions, and commitments to peace (Salmons, 2003).