The South Carolina Council on the Holocaust was established in 1989 by the General Assembly of our state to honor the Holocaust survivors who moved to South Carolina and the South Carolina soldiers who liberated the concentration camps in 1945. The Council was given a mandate to create and encourage educational programs on the Holocaust. Current economic conditions and cutbacks in state appropriations have resulted in the need for private funding to ensure the future of various educational projects in our state.
The purpose of the Foundation is to strengthen the Council's activities in memory, history and education. The Foundation will also assist the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust as it addresses related issues of international conflict, genocide, prejudice and intolerance. The Council provides funding to schools, colleges, churches, synagogues, civic groups and individuals. Projects include teacher grants, classroom supplies, student field trips, teacher training and workshops, Holocaust speakers, exhibits and other related educational programs.
The Selden K. Smith Holocaust Education Foundation was formed in October 2019 to further the programs of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust. The Foundation functions as a private source of funding for support of Holocaust educational projects and teacher training in South Carolina and has a 501 (c) (3) status. Previously operated as the Selden K. Smith Foundation for Holocaust Education from May 2010-October 2019.
Dr. Selden Smith
The Foundation carries the name of Dr. Selden Smith. Dr. Smith is a retired history professor from Columbia College who became interested in teaching the Holocaust over three decades ago.
This special interest brought him in contact with survivors and liberators in South Carolina. He acknowledges that these friendships have enriched his life. He was appointed to the Council and served as the chair for many years.
The Holocaust revealed to the world the terrible tragedy of what hatred and prejudice can do. Isn't it possible that we can learn from the study of history that intolerance and hatred must be fought and attitudes changed in hope that such atrocities will become events of the past, not present or future? Holocaust education has a role to play in our society and in the classroom for democracy, social justice and civic responsibility. The Foundation is working towards this reality.
We appreciate your visiting our website and hope you too realize how important it is to continue teaching and reminding both children and adults the lessons of the Holocaust. This is especially important now, since few survivors and liberators remain alive to give first hand testimony.