La Trobe
Volks and Musungu. Building Empathy around Bystanders and Perpetrators. Article 2016.pdf (132.83 kB)

Building empathy by watching apologies: perceptions of facilitators regarding bystanders and perpetrators

Download (132.83 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-22, 07:23 authored by Cal VolksCal Volks, Stella Musungu
A group of Cape Town Holocaust Centre volunteer educators were shown a video of an apology from a representative of bystanders who had lived in Germany in World War II apologising for not stopping a specific act of violence. The research aimed to investigate how individuals (educators or facilitators in this case) may be likely to be more available for increased reflection and understanding. These are conversations that are overdue in South Africa. We caution against apologies being taught as alternatives to reparations and bringing perpetrators to justice or this being taught as if apologies that are perceived as papering over cracks are what is required. Researchers recommend that these kinds of material be used in academic curricula across a range of subjects in the Humanities


Publication Date



South African Journal of Higher Education






14p. (p. 112-125)


UniSA Press



Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    No categories selected