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Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:00 AM

How will generations that didn't experience the Holocaust remember it?

The Soviet Red Army liberated the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, on Jan. 27, 1945.

This year, the United Nations and 39 countries will commemorate that date with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This date acknowledges the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. But, as a Jewish studies scholar, I have found it also reveals how traumatic memory works in the present and can serve as a reminder about the need for collective action.

Remembering past crimes

The United Nations memorial day connects Holocaust memory to issues in the present.


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Reply How will generations that didn't experience the Holocaust remember it? (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Jan 2019 OP
Name removed Jan 2019 #1
MineralMan Jan 2019 #2
Igel Jan 2019 #3
MineralMan Jan 2019 #4
LakeSuperiorView Jan 2019 #5
Stuart G Jan 2019 #6

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 10:49 AM

2. It needs to be kept alive and presented to each new generation.

The generation that knew about the Holocaust during their lives is rapidly disappearing. With each new generation, it becomes less and less personal, and people tend to forget about history that has little personal connection for them.

It needs to be part of our educational effort in schools, to be presented through drama, and discussed on a regular basis.

We must NEVER forget!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 11:34 AM

3. It's not just the Holocaust.

Kids are surprised that I knew people that survived the Holocaust. Even more surprising, when I tell them those survivor's attitudes towards what happened, they can't understand it. How could the survivor-Jews not bear ill-will to Germans who weren't born at the time? Because for many, justice is group-based and collective, and ethnic guilt is like original sin, something that must forever be paid for while ethnic victimization is a perpetual privilege. "Gemans" didn't kill "Jews," some Germans killed some Jews.

If you were 1 year old when the camps were liberated, you'd be 76 now. For teens, it's ancient history and, well, was tied closely to those particular countries and those particular times.

It's the same with Vietnam. I've been told that Vietnam was the bloodiest war in US history. Ignoring the fact that the Americans killed in Vietnam were 1/10 the number from the Civil War, and still far, far less than WWII. But that's what their Boomer history teachers taught them--these were kids from public schools and private schools, from different states. The history they were taught has a political POV.

And it's the same with the USSR and the mass murder in the name of the proletariat and wealth redistribution and of settling scores with the rich, of ensuring that the right ideological views are the only ones that are taught with a view to fixing society in order to create perfect humans for a secular Millennium.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 11:39 AM

4. It's a recurring problem. Knowledge of history fades over time.

Nobody remembers WWI at all any more. My maternal grandfather fought in that war, and I remember stories he told, but I'm pretty much the last generation who will have heard them from participants.

My father flew B-17s in WWII, but his great grandchildren are barely aware that that war ever happened.

I served in the USAF during the Vietnam War era, but have no stories, since I was never in-country.

Now, I'm old. I heard WWI stories. Soon enough, there won't be anyone around to tell Vietnam war stories.

Knowledge of history fades quickly, I'm afraid. After three generations or so, there's nobody left who has heard the stories from those who experienced that history.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:22 PM

5. I had great grandparents who lost a farm to the Cloquet Fire of 1918.


I would say that most people in Minnesota don't know that there were fires here that killed more people and burned more land than the Great Chicago Fire. If they even have heard of the Chicago Fire - my generation knows of that because of a cow. In Minnesota, some may know of the Hinckley fire, most have never heard of the Cloquet Fire. I only know about it because of studying my family history.

Fortunately, my great Grandparents and their children were in Duluth and they only lost their farm buildings in Hermantown. The reasons for the fires was ironically the exact same things - leaving the branches from cutting lumber laying where the tress were felled. Eventually, there was so much dried fuel laying around that small fires turned into infernos. I really hate to say it, but if they had "raked" the forests, the fires would have not spread. Not that could have with no heavy equipment in existence.

I wish there was a way to educate people about historical events that teach lessons about what doesn't work. Racism, Sexism, Bigotry of all kinds, Trickle down economics, pollution, war...

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 12:28 PM

6. One short movie, "Night and Fog" will solidify rememberance of the atrocity..

I showed it to my high school classes many times. After the first showing it was seared into my mind forever and ever.Everyone who thinks war is ok, should see this. War and its consequences, like this film, strengthen forever the idea that war is awful beyond imagination. Hate and its consequences is also a by-product of war or a precursor to war....This defines the Holocaust forever in a person's mind...and what "hate" does to people. Further, showing this movie to people is indeed the answer to the question posed in your post..


The brilliance of this film, is that it is 32 minutes. The music itself is horrific. I assume you have seen this one, but if not, it is likely to be at the library...............................Night and Fog..

Now, you ask, how do we assure that future generations understand the horror of war?..This is how this is done. But it isn't just the Holocaust,.. it is man's inhumanity to man, and what war does to people.
Or the essence of Hate in Humans and its results...English subtitles, in French...Test it out..
.......Watch it twice...you will understand why this film defines real, "horror"...Be warned, this is as
.......evil as it gets. Black and White movie, If I recall, it in itself is ..not violent. This film shows the results of violence and hate. Bodies everywhere..(at the end)..horror. .......and good luck..

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