I first met Miljenko in the summer of 2008 in Jerusalem. He was in a class I taught on creating the Classroom Holocaust Museum. We didnâ€™t really get to talk much while there. However,having written me to say that he would create a webpage dedicated to the Classroom Holocaust Museum, he and I began to correspond via email more frequently. In this manner we came to know each other a little better.
His enthusiasm for the Classroom Holocaust Museum displayed a deep dimension when he informed me that he would plant tulips, open the museum in his school, and then leave it open for one month so that he could invite other schools to visit it in Senkovec, Croatia.
He was true to his word! He managed all of this in spite of the death threats that he received to the point where the police had to get involved. Perhaps he was awakening a topic that many hoped had died in a country that once had citizens who collaborated with the Nazis. In spite of the threats to himself and his students, the Classroom Holocaust MuseumÂ was a success!
The president of Croatia sent him a personal letter congratulating him on his willingness to educate his students. The Israeli ambassador arrived to attend the opening ceremonies and offered congratulatory remarks to the Senovec students and staff. Miljenko has recently been contacted by the staff at the Croatian concentration camp, Jasenovec. Planning is underway to have him and his students work on a project together at the camp.
Though Miljenko uses the Shoah to help students examine human rights abuses, he broadens the discussion in his museum by having his students study what is going on in Darfur. The Classroom Holocaust Museum has encouraged his students to be mindful of the traps that can lead to human rights abuse.
Miljenko is clearly a teacher with a great passion for educating his students. May this passion inspire others in the name of human rights.
Introduction by Wayne MacIntyre