« In my “work of remembrance” I put all my effort, as we all should, into young people. To show them the horrors they could be lead to, as many of their forebears were. To show what happens when there is inaction in the face of injustice, exclusion and barbarity. In this ‘“work of remembrance” we must also remind young people that the executioners were ordinary people, just like any of us. So, we must be vigilant as to how we respond to others, so we do not in turn become their executioners. » 


Remembrance, history, transmission

The complex connection between History and Remembrance is discussed in several major texts by historians, philosophers, scholars and artists. These texts or interviews can be combined with the contributions of teachers and educators, those who train teachers and who teach students. To pass on what happened in the past, primarily through the educational system in schools, requires refined pedagogical approaches. At the heart of this recourse to testimony there are many questions.

What Philippe Joutard thinks about the connection between Remembrance and History

Philippe Joutard

If there was ever a situation that requires a close collaboration between the two approaches to the past it is the genocide of the Jews. Eyewitnesses bring not only the sum of their experiences and their emotion, but they expose the true function of the industrialised extermination in all its horrible singularity. Its aim was to humiliate and worse, to dehumanise, then to murder. Eyewitnesses most particularly expose the perverse nature of a system which involved the victims in their own destruction, both physically and spiritually. Without remembrance, such events as protecting hidden children could go unnoticed. To be limited to only traditional written sources would be to prioritise the viewpoint of the architects of the final solution, who from the beginning wanted to conceal the scale and form of the genocide.

Philippe JOUTARD
University Professor
Former Academy Rector

  • File name: Remembrance and History, Philippe Joutard


The teaching of the Holocaust at Primary School
Booklet issued as part of the work of the Commission directed
By Hélène WAYSBORD-LOING (2008-2009)

What Pierre Nora thinks about the connection between Remembrance and History

Pierre Nora

Because history is an intellectual and secular exercise it calls for analysis and critical discourse. Remembrance places memory in a sacred realm, history scrutinises it, always unembellished. Remembrance makes the group that it bonds together deaf. It is like saying, as Halbwachs did, there is so much collective memory that it is by definition, multiplied and multiplied again, collective, plural and individualised.

Pierre Nora
Between Remembrance and History

  • File name: Memory and History, Pierre Nora


Presentation of the works «The place of remembrance»
Between Remembrance and History
The issue of place – 1. The end of Remembrance and History

Published in three volumes, Quarto Gallimard 1997