Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program

“I only know human beings” – DEI and Lessons of the Holocaust

(The quote in the title comes from Pastor André Trocmé who was the spiritual leader of the Protestant congregation in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in France during the Holocaust. Under his leadership, the villagers rescued 5,000 people, including about 3,500 Jews. Whenever told by the police to turn in Jews in hiding, Pastor Trocmé would answer “I do not know what a Jew is. I only know human beings.” None of the Jewish escapees got betrayed.)

The Florida Holocaust Museum’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program is designed to inspire participants to reflect on Holocaust history and translate the lessons into their lives. The history of the Holocaust is relevant to every human being, regardless of their background and beliefs. It’s a dark chapter of the history of humanity and it is our obligation to investigate it and learn from it in order to make better choices for ourselves, our communities, and the world. The Holocaust was a genocide but it started with thoughts, misconceptions, and stereotypes before it escalated into physical violence and annihilation. History does not repeat itself – we are at risk of repeating history through our choices. We will discuss the concepts of choice, prejudice, dehumanization, respect, diversity, and empathy.

Through the program, participants will get acquainted with core facts about the Holocaust and analyze how historical events impacted individual human beings. Presenters will use primary sources created during the era. The key concept of the program is the notion of choice. The Holocaust was planned and carried out by human beings who chose to hate and dehumanize their fellow humans. By translating historical data into human lives, we will explore the relevancy of these lessons today.

Duration of the program: 3 hours

  • 1 hour – basic terminology, introduction to Jewish life before the Holocaust, history of antisemitism; reflection
  • 2 hour – introduction to Holocaust history, case studies, reflection
  • 3 hour – group activity with case studies; reflection

Please contact education@thefhm.org to book training for your organization.