8th Grade Mount Nittany Middle School Teacher: Mrs. Duffy
It is important for everyone to remember the Holocaust. It is important that people read the memoirs of survivors in order to understand how a government and people in power manipulated entire countries through propaganda and fear. Learning history is supposed to keep people from repeating the same mistakes. Understanding the atrocities committed and learning to recognize the beliefs and behaviors of those in power capable of committing genocide should help future generations to prevent it from happening again.
The Holocaust was the worst documented time of mass genocide in history. The horrible acts of violence were unimaginable, and it took many years before the rest of the world actually believed what was occurring in Europe under the rule of madman Adolf Hitler.
The fact that this man could convince so many other people to commit such unthinkable crimes against other humans is hard for most people to understand. Ironically, people who disagree with and question their government, or authority in general, are more likely to be seen negatively in every aspect of life.
Administrators, teachers, and even some parents encourage and favor students who go along with rules and never question authority.
However, it was the people who refused to follow the leaders and who rebelled against the rules who saved some people from the horrors of the Holocaust. Reading literature about the Holocaust makes the reader want to believe that if in the same situation one would make the courageous choice and risk one’s life to stop inhuman acts.
Studies have shown that people respond to higher authority; and even if the demands are outrageous, the majority of people will do as they are told. It is important for students to understand that there are times when it is right to stand up for one’s beliefs, even if it means disobeying the government or the person in authority.
People must learn to trust their own judgment and beliefs and to question authority and be aware of possible propaganda that is used to control and deceive people. Simply reading about the Holocaust is not enough, but it is a beginning.
Ethnic cleansing and genocide still happen today in parts of the world. Still, our government often chooses not to get involved for political reasons. When people understand the horrors of the Holocaust, the hope is that it will cause people to demand that the government get involved and stop other governments from committing acts of genocide.
When people remember, it is supposed to keep them from ever letting it happen again.
It takes a lot of people to speak up to make our government take action. This is why it is important that everyone remember the Holocaust. If everyone speaks out, it will make a difference.