Holocaust remembrance and education in the state of Israel 1948–2000


  • Birgitte Enemark Copenhagen


Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), Education, Schools, Textbooks, Heroes, Zionism, Politics and Judaism, Israel -- History, Israel -- Politics


In the early years of Israel’s existence, the collective memory of the Holocaust was characterized by the schism between the Holocaust martyrs and heroes, emphasizing the bravery and revolt of the few while neglecting the physical suffering of the victims. This understanding was also reflected in the sparse description of the subject in the history textbooks produced by the educational authorities until the late 1970s. In the years to come a more rational and chronological presentation of the Holocaust became noticeable in Holocaust textbooks. However, even though the public interest for the subject increased remarkably it was not made a compulsory and independent subject in the Israeli school system until 1982. Which factors caused this change of attitude towards the Holocaust? The change of attitude did not of course begin overnight. In this article we explore the development of the Holocaust in the collective consciousness of the Israelis and its impact on Holocaust education in the country. In order to trace this gradual development, we have chosen to focus on milestones in Israeli history&&milestones which led from repression of the Holocaust in Israeli society to its adoption as a central event in the consciousness of the Israelis.



How to Cite

Enemark, B. (2001). Holocaust remembrance and education in the state of Israel 1948–2000. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 22(2), 107–130. https://doi.org/10.30752/nj.69584