As part of the commemoration on the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, the HIERD, together with the Holocaust Memorial Center and with the support of the Ministry of Human Resources, made an invitation for tenders entitled „To remember and to make remember” and „The responsibility of knowledge”. This latter involved one tender with the goal of collecting teachers’ notes, good practices and methods that were proven to be effective in their teaching practice about the Holocaust. The former tender was about student groups investigating the Jewish history of their local community. Winners of the tender (some 70 students and their 7 teachers, from 7 schools) and 17 colleagues of the HIERD participated in a study visit to Cracow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and nearby Holocaust memorials, between the 10th and 13th of April 2014.
The trip began in the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest on the 10th April, where the winners were announced, awards were given and the organisers of the study visit gave some information about the journey. Participants travelled to Cracow by bus, and arrived there the same evening. During the travel, Tibor Pécsi, expert of the Holocaust Memorial Center gave a lecture on the history of Jews in Central-Europe, and especially Jews in Poland and in Cracow, and also introduced students to Jewish traditions.
The next day began with a memorial tour of the Auschwitz death camp, with professional guidance from Tibor Pécsi and Gergő Pál. The tour continued in Birkenau, where the group left a commemoration wreath, and one of the students recited a poem of famous Hungarian Jewish poet Miklós Radnóti at the memorial tablet. One minute of silence was observed in memory of the victims.
On the 12th, the group toured Cracow, with a particular focus on the Jewish quarter and the Jewish history of the city. The guides were two locals who spoke excellent Hungarian. The day ended at an interactive display in the Schindler Museum.
The last day was spent on the bus, where participants could listen to further talks about the situation, history and customs of Jews in Europe from Tibor Pécsi, this time focusing on their lives after the Shoah, and the group watched two documentaries.
Students wrote short essays on their experiences, and made a video about the four days which is available on the Hungarian website, together with photos of the places that they had visited.