Those who don’t remember their past are condemned to repeat it.
On the 13-19th of November, 2016 the group of 8 students from the Faculty of Foreign Languages of Kirovohrad State Pedagogical University participated in the German-Polish-Ukrainian seminar “Learning from history” that was held in Ocwiencim, Poland. The main aim of the seminar was to analyze the issue of hate speech in historical and contemporary perspectives.
The participants were impressed by the organisation of the workshops and amazed by the variety of the activities we were involved into. The students got to know about hate speech in the NS-propaganda in the 1930s, discussed contemporary forms of hate speech and the ways to counteract it. Talking about the workshops it is important to underline, that every participant had an opportunity to express his point of view, because the main motto during the discussions was to respect different opinions.
During group work we, the students from different countries, created posters to discover and interpret the understanding of the topic ”Hate speech”. All participants got unforgettable experience of team work and improved the critical thinking and public speaking skills. Welcoming and creative atmosphere of the seminar helped us to make new friends quickly and to exchange willingly our emotions and thoughts.
One day of the seminar was devoted to the visit to the State Museum Auschwitz. Auschwitz-I and Auschwitz-Birkenau are concentration camps infamous all over the world. Striding for hours across the large territory of these horrible camps, looking at the trees, changing their leaves, and the sun, shining so brightly it was difficult to believe that not so many years ago an enormous amount of people were brutally murdered in this place. And the same trees might have witnessed the appalling tragedy. We had a feeling of walking on the ashes of the old world and the ghosts of past seemed to follow us silently. The visit to the museum proved once more that it is extremely important to learn from the past in order that Auschwitz tragedy will never happen again.
We are grateful to the organisers of the seminar for a warm hospitality, fantastic activities and unique opportunity to discuss very serious issues of the past and present in an international environment!
Nataliia Mykhailova, Roman Kosiuh, students of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, KSPU