Greece the First of Ten European Countries to Host TOLI Program in 2023


Pictured above: Assia Raberman, 94, with students in Athens, Greece, where she spoke about her experiences as a child during the Holocaust in Poland. The students created a project for their school on Holocaust and Humanity, one of 200 projects sponsored by TOLI.

TOLI teacher programs for 2023 got underway this month with a seminar in Athens featuring the publication of Olga Lengyel’s memoir of Auschwitz in Greek and its distribution to schools and teachers throughout Greece. 

The book, “Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz,” was first published in 1946; it was one of the first accounts of the death camp, and an eyewitness narrative of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis on Jews and others during the Holocaust.

“This book is a rare testimony of a woman who survived Auschwitz and, in the hands of teachers, it can become an important resource, because the only way to ensure “Never Again” is through education of the new generation,” said George Kalantzis, Secretary General for Religious Affairs in the Ministry of Education and Religion, who announced the translation and distribution of the book to over 300 high schools and teachers this year. The Ministry and the Jewish Museum of Greece are partners with TOLI in the annual seminar, which resumed in person after the pandemic, bringing together over 45 educators, Holocaust experts and historians. 

The program in Greece, March 4-9, was the first of ten to be held in Europe this year; in the U.S. TOLI will conduct 15 summer seminars. Over 600 teachers are expected to participate in these programs, expanding global education on how to teach the Holocaust and apply its lessons to today’s world. 

Greece lost over 80 percent of its Jewish population—nearly 70,000 people—during the Holocaust, most deported and killed at Auschwitz. The program in Athens heard from experts on Greek’s Jewish history and the Holocaust, as well as concerns about the recurrence of antisemitic stereotypes and prejudice today. 

US Ambassador to Greece, George Tsunis, in a keynote address said, “We need to stand together against antisemitism and to educate present and future generations. Religious freedom should be our ethos. It’s a moral absolute.” 

Mark Berez, President of TOLI, told the conference, “Together with her book, Olga will be remembered for her legacy, the institute which bears her name—and which has impacted thousands of teachers and countless students to learn about the Holocaust, to reject antisemitism, and to respect the human rights of all minorities.

Zanet Battinou, Director of the Jewish Museum of Greece, added, “Our partnership with TOLI has been so impactful for teaching the Holocaust in Greece.” About the book she said, “Olga brings a unique woman’s perspective—so clear, so disciplined, so scientific—to the worst of humanity as she experienced in Auschwitz. It was evident that she was determined to bear testimony and did so shortly after the war.”


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)