Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert announces new Holocaust museum to be built in Canberra | The Canberra Times

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A new national Holocaust museum in Canberra, not far from Parliament House, is expected to start construction this year with the federal government pledging an extra $ 1.3 million to complete it, just as a new survey finds a quarter of Australians know little to nothing about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is International Holocaust Remembrance Day which marks the liberation 77 years ago of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the largest of the World War II Nazi death camps, where more than a million people were killed. Marking the day and amid reports of anti-Semitic incidents in Australia, a new survey of 3500 Australians has found the last century systematic, state-sponsored atrocity is fading from memories. The Gandel Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness survey, undertaken by Deakin University, found 24 per cent of those surveyed had little to no knowledge of the Holocaust, with that number rising to 30 per cent among younger adults. “It is concerning right across the board if you think about the destruction of six million lives. Unprecedented in any modern history,” acting Education Minister Stuart Robert told The Canberra Times. “In Melbourne, you have more Holocaust survivors, outside of Israel, than any other city on earth. So our connection is quite extraordinary in terms of what it is. And, of course, we have our connection militarily. So it is concerning. ” The Nazis murdered around six million Jews. A further 11 million members of other groups were also systematically killed in the Holocaust, including Poles, Serbs, Slavs, political opponents, disabled people, and people of different sexual orientation. Describing the Gandel survey as “substantial” and an “important piece of work”, Mr Robert repeated the adage that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. “Unless we educate, we start getting ignorance and naivete through anti-Semitism rising and we’re seeing that as we move forward which is deeply disturbing,” the minister said. “It is important that today’s generation grow up understanding what mankind is capable of doing if they step outside of proper democratic bounds and proper situations.” READ MORE: An additional $ 1.3 million announced on Thursday to establish the Canberra Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Forrest brings the Commonwealth’s financial commitment to around $ 2 million. In October, the ACT government announced $ 750,000 to fund an education program and interactive digital learning tools. The new museum is expected to show basic Judaism practices, beliefs and rituals as well as Jewish life in pre-war Europe before its destruction in the Holocaust. “Societies need to understand what happened in the Holocaust and what factors led to the actions,” ACT Jewish Community President Karen Tatz said in a statement. “The Center will make a valuable contribution to the education of visitors to the National Jewish Memorial Center, especially the groups of school children who regularly visit.” “The nature of the Holocaust will be illustrated, leading to an understanding of how democratic and law-based society, highlighted through the institutions of government in our nation’s capital, can prevent such tragedies.” The Federal Parliament and Civics Rebate (PACER) scheme which facilitates school trips to the nation’s capital is currently COVID affected, but the acting Education Minister expects the new Canberra Holocaust Museum will become an important PACER stop. “I think it’d be very valuable,” he said. “If you look at the program of kids coming here to see our national institutions, our national museum, the AIS, Questacon, museums and the like, this will be a very, very worthwhile contribution.” The ACT Jewish Community, which expects construction to start before the end of 2022, says the new museum will join the nation-wide fold of centers commemorating the Holocaust. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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