Holocaust education in Kosovo

Donika Xhemajli EUROCLIO , ,

History Teacher Association of Kosovo publish handbook on holocaust education    

As a result of the involvement of History Teachers Association of Kosovo, HTAK, in EuroClio’s project “History that Connects ‘’, its members were offered opportunities to take part in many trainings and different study visits in order to develop their professional capacity.

As part of these activities, one of the Association members participated in training at the Yad Vashem – World Memorial Holocaust Center in Israel. This was the beginning of the contact and communication required to start cooperation. The Association did not cease in its efforts to find opportunities for internal support for conducting a study visit at Yad Vashem which would involve a larger number of members. This was because Kosovo teachers needed to improve their professional ability to teach on the Holocaust in their classroom lessons.

The Association gained support from ForumZFD, a German organization that works on Dealing with the Past and Peace Education. This enabled the initiative to become reality. At first, our initiative was to organize a study visit in Israel and it ended with the publication of alternative teaching material about the Holocaust.

A number of local trainings were also organized, which increased the cooperation with other international organizations involved in this subject. They were: the Center for Historical Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin, the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the final addition to this group was an NGO called New Perspektiva, which works in Kosovo on opening up thinking on the multi-perspective methodology of teaching history with the aim of encouraging open-minded learning.

In 2017 the HTAK and ForumZFD, with the support from Kosovo Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, MESTI, organized a one-week training visit to Yad Vashem.  Afterward, with the support of all the organizations mentioned above, the HTAK members worked on drafting the teaching Handbook on the Holocaust, and in 2021 the Handbook was launched. The Education Minister and the Deputy German Ambassador in Kosovo were present at this event. The Acting Kosovo Ambassador in Israel informed and invited the representatives of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yad Vashem, which lead to their participation online. The Handbook is published in three languages, Albanian, Serbian and English, and will be used by history and civic education teachers for classes IX to XII. The Handbook is also published on the official website of the Kosovo Ministry of Education and is accessible for all. The Handbook is in complete harmony with the curricula framework which was approved by MESTI in 2016. 

We believe this Handbook will not only be used by the teachers but it will also have a direct impact on students in Kosovo. They will have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust from different, original, and verifiable sources. However, the Handbook’s advantage is that it has a multi-perspective approach, which will encourage and develop independent and critical thinking. At the same time, this methodology can be used by the publishing houses in Kosovo as a model to advance school textbooks in the future by using different sources which will have a multi-perspective approach.



Once Upon a Time…We Lived Together

Joint Work in a Multiperspective Approach, 23 Workshops on 1900-1945

This book is the result of an intensive collaborative project of the history teachers associations from the countries of former Yugoslavia, also involving the wider region, Europe and beyond, under the auspices of EuroClio.

By selecting painful and controversial topics, and presenting them in the form of comprehensive source- and inquiry-based based modules ready to be used in class, we intended to encourage critical thinking and to develop the awareness that someone else might not have the same interpretation of “our glorious past”. This additional, innovative material for history teaching is intended for pupils of final grades of primary schools and students of gymnasiums and vocational secondary schools. It allows them to experience a positive approach to the regional history of the period 1900-1945. The methodological approach corresponds to the demands of modern history teaching in the perspective of development of regional cooperation, as is also recognized in Council of Europe (2001:15 and 2009:1880) and UNESCO Recommendations, and the European Union Key Competences for Life Long Learning (2008).

For the students it supports the development of critical thinking, and understanding regional history and learning history through learning for skills and competences.  For the wider society, in which education is a cornerstone, this effort supports mutual understanding, promotes peace, stability and democracy in the region.  EuroClio and all member associations hope that by this the process of reconciliation is advanced. Within project activities, particular emphasis is given to development of modern methods of teaching history and the teaching process in general.

International Trainers and Advisers from Finland, Iceland, Israel, South Africa, Switzerland and United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland and Scotland) gave active training workshops in which they shared their insight into issues of history education in their countries, as well as trained the authors on how to work with educational material based on the sources and inquiry for learning outcomes. Representatives of History Teachers Associations of Albania, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland participated as observers in various workshops for Authors and Experts in the project, sharing their insights as experts and learners. The Authors, experts and developers in this project were able to improve their skills to implement a creative and modern approach to teaching history. Contributing to their capacity, they also shared and piloted the draft educational material in many different settings, including in Estonia, Israel, Northern-Ireland and Ukraine. During three years of working on the project, more than 260 participants were included in various activities, such as workshops, classroom piloting workshops, seminars, study visits, lectures, and international conferences. It enabled them to develop new skills and abilities, but also to strengthen capacities of civil society organizations in the region.

With this publication now added to the ranks of groundbreaking teaching resources, we can be sure that innovative methods in the learning and teaching of some sensitive and controversial history of the region in the period 1900-1945 has received a positive boost.

Download individual learning activities

1. Apple of discord SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
2. Agrarian reform in Kingdom of SCS SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 3. Economic differences in first Yugoslavia SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 4. Some Issues about 'Democracy' in the Kingdom of SHS SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 5. Everyday life in the Kingdom SHS 1918-1941 SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 6. School life in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 7. Literate or obedient SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
 8. Equal education for all? SQ | BSHR | ENMK | ME | SR | SL
 9. Yugoslav Falcon SQ | BSHR | ENMK | ME | SR | SL
 10. Football and politics SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
11. Art and Regime SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
12. Propaganda during the Second World War SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
13. Life of the Partisans SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
14. Sarajevo Assassination SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
15. Shots in the Parliament SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
16. Endangered state? SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
17. Assassination in Marseilles SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
18. Balkan Wars SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
19. Paris peace conference SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
20. The Resistance of the Minorities SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
21. Everybody against everybody SQ | BSHR | EN | MK | ME | SR | SL
22.Children in World War II SQ | BSHR | ENMK | ME | SR | SL
 23. I don't know whose those airplanes are, but the bombs are ours SQ | BSHR | ENMK | ME | SR | SL

Part of the Project

History that Connects: Teaching Sensitive and Controversial History in the countries of Former Yugoslavia.

Funded by


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External Review By


Editor-in-Chief: Bojana Dujković – Blagojević

Editors: Melisa Forić, Igor Jovanović, Mire Mladenovski, Marjeta Šifrer, Miloš Vukanović, Donika Xhemajli, Emina Živković

Coordinators/Authors: Bojana Dujkovic-Blagojevic, Denis Detling, Besnik Emini, Melisa Foric, Kiti Jurica Korda, Ljiljana Lazarevic, Mire Mladenovski, Irena Paradzik Kovacic, Nenad Perosevic, Arber Salihu, Milos Vukanovic, Donika Xhemajli, Vanja Zidar Smic, Emina Zivkovic

Authors: Bahrudin Besirevic, Marija Brkuljan, Samojko Cvijanovic, Fetnan Dervis, Ivana Dobrivojevic, Ljupka Hristova, Igor Jovanovic, Petar Lekic, Helena Mesnjak, Goran Miloradovic, Sanja Peresa-Macuka, Edin Radusic, Jelka Razpotnik, Marjeta Sifrer, Valentina Stamenkovic, Iljo Trajkovski

Advisors and Trainers: Peter Collins, Cecyl Esau, John Hamer, Hrovje Klasic, Snjezana Koren, Jan Lofstrom, Eyal Naveh, Daniela Zunzer

Translators: Branislav Blagojević (English), Besnik Emini (Albanian), Zenaida Karavdić (Bosnian), Zlata Knez (Croatian), Congress Service Center (Macedonian), Tanja Kaludjerovich (Serbian)

Publishers: ProMediaPrint, Skopje

Members involved

Bosnian History Teachers’ Association

Croatian History Teachers’ Association

History Teachers’ Association of Kosovo

History Teachers’ Association of Macedonia (ANIM)

History Teachers Association of Montenegro







History that Connects

This project used the development of teaching material as an intense competencies-building course with a particular focus on sensitive and controversial history. Old and new partners were involved on equal footing. This joint effort centrally aimed to strengthen history education by cross-border peer-learning and capacity building and collaborative creation of educational tools, in short: for a History that Connects. The effort also supported the challenging and encouraging development of history teaching, promotion of regional cooperation and professional development among associations, educators and historians at national and international level. The crowning achievement is the collaboratively produced alternative educational resource “Once Upon a Time...We Lived Together. Joint Work in a Multiperspective Approach on Shared history of 1900-1945”.

Project Aims

Supporting the innovative professional development of history educators and history education in the Western Balkans to promote peace, stability and regional cooperation.

Adapting, professionalising and empowering a regional, innovative approach to the teaching of sensitive/controversial history in the countries of the Former Yugoslavia so it supports peace, stability in the Western Balkans.

  • A multi-lingual teaching resource with ready-to-use classroom material available for free (digital) and in hard form in all project languages.
  • A core team of 15 multiethnic history, heritage and citizenship educators contributing to an innovative, internationally-recognised best-practice educational resource. Over 700 history educators involved in the project.
  • Involvement of gender-balanced mix of educators from majority and minority in all countries involved in 14 national events.
  • An outreach strategy implemented including social Network campaign, web development about the project and uploading of the educational resources allowing free access globally in 8 languages and audiovisual documentation of the project. Target groups have free access and contribute to the social network campaign.
  • National Curricula recommendations, Lobby and Network meetings on a local and international level, Regional Educational recommendations for teaching sensitive history,  including Governmental, Intergovernmental and Nongovernmental representatives.


  • The multi-lingual teaching resource “Once upon a time…we lived together”  has been successfully published in eight languages and has been positively evaluated.
  • The educational resource was developed by an extended group of 35 history educators from all project countries, working in schools, research institutes, museums and universities. The final editing was done by an elected team of 7 editors – one from every country.
  • National events took place, involving 700 individuals.  In all events, all aspects of diversity were present, including gender, ethnicity, age and socio-economic background.
  • Detailed curricula analyses and recommendations have been made in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia.
  • The project contributed to a multi-perspective understanding of very sensitive history in the period 1900-1945. The key to this achievement has been the insistence on the regional collection of primary source material to be purposed in active learning and ready-to-use lesson plans.


Educational resource:

Once Upon a Time...We Lived Together: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Country, Every Day Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia 1945-1990.Yugoslavia between East and West.

Individual chapters availabe online in Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, English, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, and Slovenian here.

External review:

External Review - Once Upon a Time

Supported by



Bosnian History Teachers' Association


Croatian History Teachers' Association


History Teachers' Association of Kosovo


History Teachers' Association of Macedonia


History Teachers' Association of Montenegro


Association for Social History in Serbia


Slovenian History Teachers' Association

Latest news

Project Managers

Joke van der Leeuw-Roord, EuroClio Executive Director

Jonathan Even-Zohar, EuroClio Director (former EuroClio Project Manager)



Bojana Dujković – Blagojević.



Melisa Forić, Igor Jovanović, Mire Mladenovski, Marjeta Šifrer, Miloš Vukanović, Donika Xhemajli, Emina Živković.



Bojana Dujkovic-Blagojevic, Denis Detling, Besnik Emini, Melisa Foric, Kiti Jurica Korda, Ljiljana Lazarevic, Mire Mladenovski, Irena Paradzik Kovacic, Nenad Perosevic, Arber Salihu, Milos Vukanovic, Donika Xhemajli, Vanja Zidar Smic, Emina Zivkovic.



Bahrudin Besirevic, Marija Brkuljan, Samojko Cvijanovic, Fetnan Dervis, Ivana Dobrivojevic, Ljupka Hristova, Igor Jovanovic, Petar Lekic, Helena Mesnjak, Goran Miloradovic, Sanja Peresa-Macuka, Edin Radusic, Jelka Razpotnik, Marjeta Sifrer, Valentina Stamenkovic, Iljo Trajkovski.


Advisors and Trainers:

Peter Collins, Cecyl Esau, John Hamer, Hrovje Klasic, Snjezana Koren, Jan Lofstrom, Eyal Naveh, Daniela Zunzer.