Memory, Responsibility, and Transformation


The Unite the Right rally on 11 and 12 August 2017, shook the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and spurred a national conversation about the long history of racial oppression in the United States and the future of its democracy. This article reviews the Transatlantic Partnership on Memory, Responsibility and Transformation, a collaboration between the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America and the Center for German Studies at the University of Virginia. Launched in response to the violent rally on the university’s grounds and in downtown Charlottesville, the partnership adds a transnational dimension to antiracist pedagogy and Holocaust education. Through interdisciplinary projects, it challenges students to translate classroom learnings into hands-on practice of participatory democratic citizenship in local communities. The partnership’s aim is to situate the study of memory and history in contemporary discussions of racial justice and responsible citizenship and to animate students to find urgency and relevance in the specific lessons of the Holocaust and in broader, transnational legacies of systemic oppressions. Starting with a discussion of the initiative’s origins in the aftermath of far-right violence, this article offers some of the lessons learned through the partnership, as well as recommendations for others who might wish to explore similar pedagogical practices and programming.  

Antiracist Pedagogy, Holocaust Education, and Community Outreach in Transatlantic Perspective
Manuela Achilles
Journal of Holocaust Research
Publication Type: 
Confronting Hatred: Neo-Nazism, Antisemitism, and Holocaust Studies Today