Teaching Holocaust in Schools
The Holocaust was a horrible event in the history of the modern world.
Millions of people were needlessly and ruthlessly exterminated at the
hands of the Nazis. There are few people in Britain who feel that the
Holocaust should not be taught in schools. While it is important to
teach about the Holocaust to children, it will be in vain if we do not
know why we do it. My high school is a diverse one and there are many
reasons why it should be taught there.
One of the most important reasons has been summed up rather well by
George Santayana, an American philosopher and poet. His famous line
is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
In spirit, this unoriginal quotation says that if you do not learn
what went wrong ...view middle of the document...
While less and less British people were getting educated on the
Holocaust, less and less noticed the concentration camps,
totalitarianism, and religious persecution in the People's Republic of
China. Less and less noticed because less and less people knew that
they should notice. Therefore, if the children of Britain do not learn
about the Holocaust, they will be condemned to repeat it.
As you may imagine with any public school, there are not too many
Jewish students. That is not to say that the student population is not
diverse, because it is. In fact, that student diversity leads to
another reason why the holocaust should be taught in my school. While
many other groups have had their share of problems, to claim that they
have had 'holocausts' of their own is not un-like some sort of myth.
When schools teach and sometimes overplay troubles of other ethnic
groups but not the Jews', they downplay the true Holocaust. However,
when schools like my own teach the Holocaust, it retains its
significance in the world, something that may otherwise be lost.
When teenagers learn about various social problems of the past or
present, they often feel the need to take some sort of action. The
provocation of student action can therefore be another advantage to
teaching the Holocaust in my school. This is beneficial for two
reasons. First, the students might wish to learn about Judaism which
would not only broaden their horizons but also reduce anti-Semitic
stereotypes that they may feel. Second, the students may feel
obligation to increase community awareness of the Holocaust. They
might educate other people who do not have the same educational
opportunities as them. This will lead to more people who will know of
the Holocaust which means there are fewer people who would repeat the
atrocities of the past.