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  • Unearthing the Holocaust: Serniki and the Australian War Crimes Trials

Unearthing the Holocaust: Serniki and the Australian War Crimes Trials

Key information
Cost $15/student Duration 3 hours Supervision ratios The supervision ratio is 1:20 for secondary groups. Teachers attend free of charge. Curriculum links Stage 4 & 5 Elective History, Topic 1: Constructing History
Stage 6 Ancient History Preliminary Course Part II: The Historical Investigation, Ancient History (Archaeology)
Stage 6 Modern History Core: The Investigation of Historic Sites and Sources; The Contestability of the Past; The Construction of Modern History.
Stage 6 HSC Legal Studies, Option 7: World Order
About the program:

All nations are obliged to trace, charge or extradite genocidal killers. Yet the effectiveness of international mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court continue to be hotly debated, as the will to prosecute war criminals remains firmly within the internal domestic realm of national states.

The Sydney Jewish Museum’s exhibition, Unearthing the Evidence, details the atrocities committed against the Jewish inhabitants of Serniki, a small village in the Ukraine. The artefacts on display were excavated to serve as the material evidence for the Australian War Crimes Trial that took place in South Australia between 1991 and 1993. Through viewing the exhibition and participating in a workshop led by a Museum educator, students will engage in a discussion of the massacre at Serniki and how it constitutes a war crime and, thus, a breach of international law.

The program includes:

  • Interactive seminar with a Museum educator
  • First-hand testimony from a Holocaust survivor
  • Guided tour of the Museum

Image credit: SJM Collection.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are not able to process bookings online. To book, please contact our bookings team at booking@sjm.com.au or phone (02) 9360 7999.

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Plan your visit

On the day

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your program start time and assemble students across the road from the museum in Green Park.
  • Please send a member of staff to the main museum entrance to let us know you have arrived and our education team will come to greet you.
  • Students will enter via the main museum entrance on Darlinghurst Road.
  • Note that the museum has a substantial security presence. Your group may be asked to consent to a bag search.

What to bring

  • Due to limited locker space, we request that students do not bring large backpacks.
  • If the students plan to eat before or after their visit, please ask them to bring very small bags so that we can put several bags in each locker.

Access

  • We strive to make our programs accessible and inclusive to students of all needs and abilities. Please advise us if you have any additional needs for your visit.

Content advice

  • Note that the content covered at the museum may be distressing to some students.
  • We recommend bringing your school councillor and/or members of your pastoral care team to the visit.

Payment

  • An invoice will be sent after your visit, unless organised otherwise.

Confirmation of numbers

  • All bookings must confirm any changes to student numbers 7 days prior to the visit in writing, or original booking numbers will be charged in full.

Cancellations and booking changes

  • Changes and cancellations including dates, times and student numbers must be made in writing.
  • Each booking is permitted two changes at no cost. Each additional change over and above these two changes will incur a $30 administration fee.
  • Cancellations made within 7 working days of the scheduled booking will be charged in full.

Risk assessment

Please click here for our risk assessment.

Pre and post visit lesson plans

Our Educators have created activities and resources for teachers to use to engage students before and after their visit to the Museum.

Click here to download the pre and post visit lesson plans.

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Resisting the Holocaust

This program challenges the misconception that Jews went “like lambs to the slaughter”, with examples of Jewish resistance.

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