Critics slam UK Holocaust center’s ‘Curb your inner Hitler’ workshop

Campaign Against Antisemitism called it “breathtakingly insulting and historically ignorant” to portray the Holocaust as simply a good vs. bad scenario.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Critics are slamming a UK Holocaust center’s workshop on fostering inclusion in the workplace entitled “Curb Your Inner Hitler” that studies dictators’ leadership styles in order to reject them, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported Tuesday.

In its press release touting the workshop, Holocaust Centre North (HCN) Head of Learning Hannah Randall is quoted as saying, “It gets people thinking. We are using extreme scenarios but it serves a dual purpose. It makes people question their leadership style and it makes them confront relatable experiences that some would rather forget.

“So, for example, most people have seen discrimination in their organization, which is stage three on the ten stages of genocide.”

Centre Director Alessandro Bucci noted at the workshop that “by exploring the gray areas of the Holocaust – and recognizing that it’s too simple to reduce it to just good and bad guys – we are having real success in getting people to think about how they can create more inclusive workplaces,” according to the JC.

With “allegations of bullying” rising to “a record high,” he said, there is “a clear need for a more forceful approach to make people think about what they can do differently.”

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Labour Against Antisemitism, a voluntary organization started by Labour party members to combat Jew hatred in their midst, discovered the short program and was horrified.

“To hold Adolf Hitler — a megalomaniacal genocidal antisemite — up as simply a bad leadership model is offensive, lacking in awareness and an insult to the memories of six million Jewish people who were slaughtered according to his plans,” its spokesperson told the JC.

The group said it was “crass use of the Holocaust” to “drum up business” for the center, and that HCN “has a responsibility to accurately convey the nature of the Holocaust instead of legitimizing its trivialization.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism called it “breathtakingly insulting and historically ignorant” for Bucci to portray the Holocaust as simply a good vs. bad scenario.

“That a ‘Holocaust Centre,’ of all places, thinks it is appropriate to use the Shoah as a metric for conduct in the workplace is astounding,” the group added, calling for “an urgent rethink.”

HCN said it piloted the four-hour course for a year at selected businesses and city councils, with “overwhelmingly positive feedback from people who have attended…

“They said they valued the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust alongside considering how they could make their organizations more inclusive, accountable and transparent.”

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Among other messages conveyed at the presentation, “The Holocaust didn’t begin with genocide. It began with discrimination, prejudice and intolerance,” and that there is danger in being “a bystander.”

After discussing how Stalin, for example, was “an extreme micromanager” and Hitler had “a hands-off and unaccountable approach that relies on his force of personality to get things done,” the presentation continues to focus on how “everyone is accountable and responsible for ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion” in the workplace.