April 19, 2012 in Features, Voices

Fabrications allow history to repeat itself

Ashley Griechen
 

Dear Fr. Connell:

In the age of the Internet, infinite knowledge is easily accessed. In just one click, a whole subject, a thousands years worth of study, can be compiled into different websites and databases. It allows knowledge to no longer be a thing for only a few privileged people, but instead, for everyone and anyone who wishes to seek it. But within those hundreds of websites and millions of facts comes the stone cold truth that even though the Internet provides an easier way to spread knowledge, it also provides an easier way to spread mistruths and ignorance. By simply typing in “Holocaust,” hundreds of links will be brought up, a substantial amount being anti-Semitic and holocaust denial websites. Within these sites comes an abandonment of facts and a heavy helping of hate.

Our school’s duty, as a provider of education and growth, is to combat this ignorance and animosity by providing proper classes and environments in which the unbiased truth can be taught. It is within un-enlightenment and fabrications that history is able to repeat itself. There are many reasons why the Holocaust, and genocide in general, happened and by shedding light on those reasons we will be able empower future generations to prevent similar events. Truth and knowledge are two of the most powerful weapons a school is able to wield. Although this would not eliminate the misgivings invented by Holocaust deniers and other related groups, it would provide a reliable source so that current students and generations to come will not be swept up in the denial of the systematic murder of millions of Jews and other people that the Nazis deemed undesirable during World War II. Not only will this help educate the current generation but, it will also provide an opportunity for the young people of this community to spread knowledge to older generations who may have been affected by untruths spread.

Within these classes, a number things would be taught. To begin with, the course should focus closely on the reasons behind the Holocaust. Not only should anti-semitic view stemming from the classical age onward be addressed, but also the problems going on in Germany during the time leading up to World War II. Careful examination of the ideologies and propaganda behind the Holocaust is key to understanding how the atrocity happened in the first place and allows us to be able to spot it in our current world. Events during the Holocaust and conditions within the concentration camps should also be studied. It is important for students to realize the utter cruelty and inhumanity Jews were confronted with. But this class shouldn’t be focused solely on the genocide of Jews during World War II. Learning the basic outline of genocide from the horror of the Holocaust the class should also focus on genocides that happened in Cambodia, Armenia, the Americas, Sudan, Rwanda, Russia, and many other places. It is important that the class focuses on the fact that we should not forget the crimes against humanity committed, but also realize that they still surround us in our current global situation. Lastly, and certainly most important, the class should teach and instill a tolerance and love for all other human beings. As put by Valerie in the movie V for Vendetta “…even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you.” We need to be taught to be kind, compassionate, tolerant, and loving to those of different religions, races, orientations, and genders because in the end we are all breathing, living human beings.

Adding a Holocaust class to our curriculum does not only expand student’s knowledge of history and genocide, but can also help prevent future genocides and develop students into more compassionate, loving human beings, which will in turn help society as a whole. With this is mind, please bring the possibility of a Holocaust class up in the next faculty meeting. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ashley Griechen

Ashley Griechen, a sophomore at Gonzaga Prep, won third place in the Eva Lassman Memorial Creative Writing Contest.


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