Project: Erinnern für die Gegenwart

Julia Collins receives award from the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center

We are tremendously proud that our wonderful teacher Ms. Julia Collins has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Susan J. Goldberg Memorial Teacher Award by the Board of Directors of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center!

Ms. Collins is being recognized for her dedication to human rights education and for her determination to bring the lessons of the Holocaust and other human rights violations to her students at the German International School New York. One stellar example is the remarkable book her students produced last year “We Lived on Miracles.” This is but one of her significant contributions to the subject. 


Our GISNY project: „Holocaust Zeitzeugen in Geschichten und Bildern“ was chosen and supported by the Federal Foreign Office, the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, and the Stiftung „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“ to partake in the project "Erinnern für die Gegenwart" for German Foreign Schools.

GISNY student book project about Holocaust survivors and liberators selected by German government

“What can we learn from the past?” is a question built into the German education system. In 2019, German schools around the world were challenged to tackle that question by developing remembrance projects focused on an issue of particular cultural, historical and geographic relevance.

German International School New York is proud that our book project about Holocaust survivors and liberators was one of those chosen for official support from the German government.

GISNY’s two 7th grade classes met and interviewed a number of Holocaust survivors and a liberator in the New York metropolitan area, and have turned what they heard into a bilingual book filled with a schoolchild’s understanding of the Holocaust. The book, “We Lived on Miracles,” features stories and texts in both German and English, and is accompanied by a short film for screening at GISNY as well as institutions and schools in the greater New York area. 

The multimedia book, as well as the short films, were created in cooperation with two local Jewish organizations, the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center and Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester, as well as with the Penguin Random House publishing house, the Goethe Institute, and the German Consulate General New York.

The book will be used at GISNY in various grades in the subjects of History, German, English, Ethics, and Religion. The book is also intended for reading hours, lectures, and exhibitions at various institutions and schools in the Westchester and NYC area.

German government support for remembrance projects such as “We Lived on Miracles” is the result of an initiative promoted by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and carried out by the Foreign Office, the Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Federal Agency for Civic Education, and the restitution foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future. The initiative aims to promote a modern culture of remembrance by relating issues of the past to the present.

Further information about the initiative is available at:
Julia Collins 

Head of History Department German International School of New York

Click on the book cover to read the digital version of our book.

First page of the PDF file: DasWunderdesUberlebens-WATERMARKSBogen_

Slide Show: Impressions of our Project

Videos: Click on names for full interviews in English & German


Book introduction at the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center

"Erinnnern für die Gegenwart" is organized and sponsored by: