The second workshop on totalitarian states and their discriminatory practices took place in Romania
On June 9, the National Museum of Bukovina in Suceava again hosted a group of high school students from the local Petru Rareș College keen to participate in a workshop on "The Totalitarian State and Its Discriminatory Practices". As previously, the workshop was skillfully led by Dr. Anca Zaharia and Dr. Ștefan Dejan, a member of the museum’s staff.
For children born and raised in a democracy, learning about the history of totalitarian regimes in twentieth-century Europe and understanding the principles of totalitarian systems and, most importantly, their consequences for nations is not easy, but it is essential. After all, this is how they can understand the advantages of a democratic system over authoritarianism and become sensitive to the slightest relapse to the latter.
It is important to note that the history of Romania is a valuable case study for exploring the nature of totalitarianism, since the Romanian state twice "lost its way" to authoritarianism in the 20th century, albeit within different political systems. Romanian school students learned more about these rather difficult pages of national history during a tour around the relevant parts of the museum’s exhibition and a specially prepared educational module focused on the "case of David Falik" of 1926.
The latter highlights another "dark" chapter in Romanian history: the high degree of anti-Semitism in society in the 1920s and 1930s, which, in turn, formed the basis for the participation of representatives of the Romanian state in crimes against Jews during World War II.
The students actively participated in the discussions and eagerly completed the specially prepared practical exercises. The students’ interest in the workshop topic was once again evidenced by their feedback at the end of the workshop, which lasted a whole day, with short breaks.