2011 Workshop

Executive Summary:
“Mass Atrocity Education Workshop: Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocide” 

Dr. David Frey
Associate Professor of History
Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies 
West Point’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS), in cooperation with the Civic and Defense Initiatives arm of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), conducted an innovative “Mass Atrocity Education Workshop: Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocide.” The purpose of the workshop, which took place 17-19 May 2011, in Washington, DC, was to help the Academy better incorporate learning about mass atrocity into the broader USMA curriculum. 
This collaboration, conceived of by Dr. David Frey and Ms. Gretchen Skidmore of the USHMM, brought together a group of West Point faculty from five different departments, renowned Holocaust and genocide scholars, staff and experts from Museum, and representatives from the Naval Academy and Army War College. The three-day program involved visits through the Museum’s exhibits, lectures from and discussions with experts, discussion with a survivor, and practical planning designed to find methods to incorporate Holocaust and genocide knowledge into the cadet learning experience. Post-workshop surveys and emails indicate the program’s small size produced an intense, intimate, and productive environment conducive to creative thinking, allowing it to accomplish its specific goals of: 

  • Furthering understanding of the Holocaust and genocide with particular emphasis on the role(s) of the military; 
  • Empower participants with the competencies to develop meaningful curriculum content on the Holocaust and / or genocide to be incorporated into existing USMA courses; 
  • Clarifying the value of the Holocaust and genocide content in training future military officers; and 
  • Enhancing relationships between West Point faculty, leading scholars and Museum experts.