Monday, January 27, 2020

Schools : Auschwitz-Birkenau 75 years after : new resources

Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau
credits: Getty

27 January 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. In 2005, the date was officially proclaimed International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day
credits: UNESCO

"Seventy-five  years  ago,  the  100th  and  322nd  divisions  of  the  Soviet  Army’s “1st Ukrainian  Front”  reached  the  Nazi  concentration  and  extermination  camp  of  Auschwitz-Birkenau,  whose  very  name  symbolizes  the  barbarism  of  the  killing  centres and concentration camps (...)
 Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, message

The Holocaust profoundly affected countries in which Nazi crimes were perpetrated, but also had universal implications and consequences in many other parts of the world.

Exhibition: Seeing Auschwitz
credits: Katia Pizzi


Educational approaches to the history of Auschwitz, ways to sustain the interest of new generations and raise awareness of its relevance in addressing contemporary issues is an important issue to teach in schools curricula.
Education has a vital role to play in fostering a culture of prevention, undermining prejudice, promoting peaceful co-existence and human rights, and cultivating respect for all peoples
UNESCO recognizes that teaching about the history of the Holocaust is fundamental to establishing respect for human rights, basic freedoms and the values of tolerance and mutual respect.

credits: UNESCO


Two exhibitions linked to the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the history of the Holocaust, and related research are displayed at UNESCO Headquarters offered visitors new perspectives on approaching the history of the Holocaust: 

Exhibition: Crimes Uncovered: The First Generation of Holocaust Researchers
  • The first exhibition Crimes Uncovered: The First Generation of Holocaust Researchers, developed by the Wiener Holocaust Library, the House of the Wannsee Conference and Touro College Berlin focuses on the beginnings of Holocaust research starting with the first courageous individuals who documented the Nazi crimes at the time of the Second World War. 

Exhibition: Seeing Auschwitz

  • The second Seeing Auschwitz, conceived by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial specifically for UNESCO and United Nations Headquarters, invites visitors to take a closer look at photographs of Auschwitz-Birkenau and those who perished there. 
  • Both exhibitions remain on show at UNESCO Headquarters until 5 February 2020.

School visits:

If you teach in Paris or near by, don't miss a school visit with your students. Do you want a better lesson? Authentic documents,photos, videos, and other staff.

credits: UN


Almost one million men, women and children were killed there because they were Jewish mostly as soon as they arrived. In total, Nazis murdered 1,100,000 people at Auschwitz-Birkenau.


I wrote several posts on this blog. Teachers and students will find:

Books: Diary: 

Reading the diary of a person muddling through that history is jarringly different, more like the confusing experience of actually living it. In real time, people are slow to recognize events taking place around them, because they have other priorities; because these events happen invisibly; because changes are incremental and people keep on recalibrating. 

The shock of Renia’s diary is watching a teenage girl with the standard preoccupations—friends, family, schoolwork, boyfriend—come to an inescapable awareness of the violence that is engulfing her.

A replica of Anne Frank's diary is displayed 
at the Indianapolis Children's Museum in Indianapolis
Michael Conroy/APvia nprEd

You know Anne Frank's Diary of course. A Diary is an interesting part of the Narrative text. Students love to read a diary written from young people.

The Diary of Anne Frank is at once exceedingly special and totally normal. Her circumstances, her writing skill, and her insight make the diary extraordinary. 

How do a diary helps us teach about this special narrative text ? Let's know a new diary written for another young girl. Renia Spiegal!

Renia's Diary
A Holocaust Diary
Renia Spiegal

The long-hidden diary of a young Polish woman's life during the Holocaust, translated for the first time into English.

Hidden for 70 years, a new invaluable contribution to Holocaust literature, the diary of Renia Spiegelwas rediscovered inside a desk in New York (2018).

The shock of Renia’s diary is watching a teenage girl with the standard preoccupations - friends, family, schoolwork, boyfriend - come to an inescapable awareness of the violence that is engulfing her.

Renia's Diary
A Holocaust Diary
Renia Spiegal

Renia Spiegel was born in 1924 to an upper-middle class Jewish family living in southeastern Poland, near what was at that time the border with Romania. At the start of 1939 Renia began a diary. 

“I just want a friend. I want somebody to talk to about my everyday worries and joys. Somebody who would feel what I feel, who would believe me, who would never reveal my secrets. A human being can never be such a friend and that’s why I have decided to look for a confidant in the form of a diary.” 

Renia Spiegal
via Smithsonian Magazine

And so begins an extraordinary document of an adolescent girl’s hopes and dreams. By the fall of 1939, Renia and her younger sister Elizabeth (née Ariana) were staying with their grandparents in Przemysl, a city in the south, just as the German and Soviet armies invaded Poland. Cut off from their mother, who was in Warsaw, Renia and her family were plunged into war. Read some notes here

Diarists are among the most honest writers you'll ever know!  Very few lies exist in a diary that carries the expectation of being private forever. 

Also, a diary is written in a way that is characteristic of an era.  One can learn about speech patterns, syntax, and changes in language from reading a diary.

Teachers will develop some good projects and activities with your students. They love History  and Literature.

You don't have to finish in a week. Give some time to your lessons to really help your students to understand the values of human rights and never accept horrendus historic facts to be repeated. 

"Understanding our history connects us to the essential human values of truth, respect, justice and compassion."

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General 


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Monday, January 20, 2020

Art & Education : Paris Musées : 150,000 digital reproductions of art works in open content & other resources

Oh! La ! Quatorze musées de Paris donnent accès numérique gratuit à 150 000 de leurs œuvres.

Du Petit Palais à Carnavalet, du musée Cognacq-Jay au musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, cette opération d’Open Content vise à  favoriser l’augmentation de la visibilité des œuvres et la connaissance des collections en France et à l’étranger, selon un communiqué de Paris Musées.

Ces musées, contenant de nombreux trésors, souffrent de la notoriété des géants parisiens comme le Louvre, Orsay, le Grand Palais ou le Centre Pompidou.

Paris Musées propose en Open Content (mises à disposition gratuite et sans restriction) plus de 150 mille reproductions numériques des oeuvres des collections dela Ville de Paris!

Open content : plus de 150 000 œuvres des oeuvres des collections des musées de la Ville de Paris en libre accès (sous licence CCØ ).

Nouvelle étape dans le développement de la politique numérique de Paris Musées, le lancement de l’Open Content contribue "à l’accroissement et à l’amélioration de la diffusion des collections et vient renforcer les actions en faveur d’un meilleur accès à l’art et à la culture". 

Oeuvres de Édouard Vuillard & Robert Delauney CCØ 

Il favorise également l’augmentation de la visibilité des œuvres et la connaissance des collections municipales en France et à l’étranger.

"Cette ouverture des données garantit le libre accès et la réutilisation par tous de fichiers numériques, sans restriction technique, juridique ou financière, pour un usage commercial ou non."

Des images représentant des œuvres appartenant au domaine public sous licence CCØ (Creative Commons Zero) sont mises à disposition de tous les internautes, enseignants, étudiants, chercheurs, via le Portail des collections de Paris Musées

Dans un premier temps, les reproductions d’oeuvres en 2D qui ne sont pas soumises à droits sont disponibles en Open Content, les images soumises à droits restent en basse définition afin d’illustrer les fiches du site internet des collections. 

Les étudiants et tous les amateurs d’art pourront, par exemple, télécharger les œuvres des grands noms de la photographie (Atget, Blancard, Marville, Carjat...) ou de la peinture (Courbet, Delacroix, Rembrandt, Van Dyck...).

Chaque utilisateur/ étudiant récupère un dossier: 

  •   l'image en haute définition (300 dpi – 3 000 pixels), 
  •  un fichier avec la notice de l’œuvre,
  •  charte des bonnes pratiques liées aux images sous licence CCØ afin d’inviter chacun à citer la source et les informations sur l’œuvre.

Si cette licence est déjà utilisée par des musées internationaux à l’instar du Rijksmuseum à Amsterdam ou du Metropolitan Museum à New York, Paris Musées est à la première institution française parisienne à s’en emparer en proposant un nombre considérable de reproductions en haute définition

crédits: Musées de Paris

  • Comment accéder aux reproductions libres de droits ?

Via le Portail des collections: 
Sur, les images des œuvres sous licence CCØ seront téléchargeables soit directement depuis la fiche de l’œuvre en question, soit depuis une page dédiée aux images libres de droits accessible via la page d’accueil.
  • À qui sont destinées ces reproductions?
Paris Musées permettra à tous les publics d’obtenir en un clic une reproduction d’œuvre issue de ses collections pour l’imprimer, s’en inspirer ou même en faire un fond d’écran !

Les chercheurs, étudiants et enseignants pourront ainsi utiliser des images en haute définition pour leurs recherches, supports de cours ou publications et améliorer leurs outils de médiation physiques et numériques.

Pour une mise en avant claire des reproductions des œuvres concernées, Paris Musées créera des expositions virtuelles spécifiques qui apporteront aux utilisateurs/ étudiants un maximum d’informations tout en les encourageant à télécharger et réutiliser les images.

crédits: Musées de Paris


In January 2020, 14 Paris Museums announced that it is now possible to freely download (under CCØ licensemore than 100,000 digital reproductions of art works from their collections on the Paris Musées site.

Teachers and students can discover all the beautiful artworks from the Paris Museums and  download for free (Open Content). 
Art is a cultural legacy for humanity. A fundamental part of our history that should be kept safe for future generations.

Teachers and students can discover all the beautiful artworks, more than 150 000 of the world’s famous masterpieces.

credits : Paris Musées

From coins dating to before Jesus Christ and artworks by François Boucher, Gustave Courbet and Eugène Delacroix to Rembrandt drawings, the earliest photographic work of Etienne Carjat and Charles Marville, and abstract art with Robert Delaunay, an entire heritage is now being offered to web users with joyful ease. 

The images can be viewed and downloaded for free from the website, and are notably accompanied by detailed explanatory notes for those interested in discovering the works further.

On the website, students and teachers, works can be searched by category, technique, period or colour, giving virtual visitors the chance to navigate between photographs, prints, furniture and porcelains with ease.

Paul Cézanne, 
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard (1899)
credits: Maison de Victor Hugo
Oil on canvas, from the collection of Petit Palais, Paris (CC0 Paris Musées 
/ Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais)

Paris Musées will stage digital exhibitions on its website to help users discover the open access works. The first highlights grisaille paintings - rendered in shades of grey and often modeled to create the illusion of a relief - held by the Maison de Victor Hugo. The technique was popular during the 1880s, and grisaille paintings were often featured in illustrated editions of the Les Misérables author’s works.

In the future, Paris Musées may make its open access artworks available on platforms such as Wikimedia Commons.

Other online resources:

Now, January 2021 Paris Musées offer the fantastic access to 335 773 artworks online! Wow! And 14 thematic 'parcours' .

L'âge d'or de la peinture danoise 1801-1864

An online visit in 30 minutes of Danish Painting until the 17 January 2021.

All this is perfect for Art students and teachers, but also for anyone who wishes to explore the artworks inside Paris Museums.
  • Target: 
Arts: High junior schools; Schools of Arts and University

 Portrait de M. Victor Hugo
Léon Bonnat
credits: Maison de Victor Hugo

Some thoughts :

“Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples”.


The world is changing faster than ever. New technology delivers new ideas, gigabytes of information, news of art and museums shared by social media. 

By making its heritage just one click away, outside the walls of these institutions, Paris Musées demonstrates its will to promote access to culture and to increase visibility of the works. 

Offering free download images, museums are exploring the potential of digital technology to offer virtual learning experiences with a focus on collaboration an participation.

Modern museums must compete for an audible voice against the furious pace of this background.

Museums in a changing world in recognition that arts must go out from their walls.

Museums  have an attractive impact in the curriculum. And if we can't visit some museums, we can admire their artworks.



update 02.01.2021
Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License
Art & Education : Paris Musées 150,000 digital reproductions of art works in open content and other online resources bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

sources: Paris Musées