Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Holocaust Center's Education Forum: Using political cartoons


Teachers attending the Holocaust education forum view a documentary about political cartoons that teach about the struggle for human and civil rights.

On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Holocaust Center hosted an education forum titled Using Political Cartoons to Teach about Human and Civil Rights. More than 30 teachers and local residents joined with Mitch Bloomer, the Center's resource teacher, as he facilitated a discussion about using political cartoons to teach about the struggle for human and civil rights in the Holocaust era and during the modern Civil Rights Movement.

The Holocaust Center's Education Forums provide an ongoing opportunity for teachers and interested others to discuss and expand their knowledge about Holocaust education and related topics in a variety of classroom situations. In this forum, particular attention was given to political/editorial cartoons.

Political cartoons may seem like simple comic sketches. In truth, they are a deceptively complex form of political communication, intended to provoke and persuade. All at once, they may seem funny, outrageous and offensive. They can be multi-faceted, representing points of view that are always open to debate. They are useful tools in the classroom to encourage thoughtful discussion regarding particular issues from history or in the news. Participants commented on the amazing ability of political cartoons to capture the essence of civil rights issues in a concise format. They also remarked on how many of the cartoons, though 50 to 70 years old, were still relevant today.

March's Education Forum will be held on Thursday, March 12. The topic of discussion will be Downfall: The Death Throes of Nazi Germany.

As an overview of the above program, by mid-January 1945 it was evident that Germany was incapable of holding off the advancing Russian troops to the east and the increasing success of the Western Allies. As German territory fell and opportunities for safe retreat disappeared, it was surprising that the Nazi regime did not collapse. These last days revealed important characteristics about Nazism that still stand as warnings for today. Also, the impact of these final moments on Holocaust survivors is an important chapter of this tragic history.

For more information regarding Education Forums, current or upcoming exhibits, scheduling a group tour of the Holocaust Center or other information, call the Holocaust Center at 407-628-0555 or visit their website at http://www.holocaustedu.org.


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