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VOICES: Plea to remember all genocides
3:00pm Saturday 1st February 2014 in News
By JACK BENSON, aged 16
THE Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has revealed that more than half of the UK adult population can’t name a genocide after the Holocaust.
I find this rather ironic considering the UK played a leading role in establishing the Holocaust Memorial Day– the 13th of which was held on Monday – as an international day of commemoration.
After looking over the figures, I was left rather puzzled – just why are they so low?
Where has the UK gone wrong in regards to raising awareness not only of the Holocaust, but of the genocides since – namely Bosnia, Cambodia, and Rwanda.
Do young people have a right to feel uninterested in learning of these horrors?
These questions seem to go hand in hand with each other.
My first question, in my opinion, has a relatively simple answer: young people just don’t learn enough about the Holocaust.
Unless you do GCSE history, you probably won’t have studied it in any real depth.
The only time you really learn about genocide is on Holocaust Memorial Day.
If we were to teach students about genocides and the Holocaust more, then the UK population would be a lot better educated.
Many people just see it as just another week, even though it’s a time of reflection and remembering.
The answer to my second question has a similar answer to the first: the UK government just doesn’t do enough to raise awareness, nor does it make any attempt to really include young people in learning about these atrocities.
If we want young people to learn about genocides to prevent them in the future, we need to go back to the drawing board and rethink the Government’s strategy, as the figures show it really isn’t fulfilling its aims.
My third question is probably the one that affects me the most as I’m a young person.
As it stands, many feel that we young people do have a right not to care about the Holocaust.
After all, what’s happened, has happened, right?
Well they couldn’t be more wrong.
We should care about the Holocaust. This week is all about reflecting and remembering.
It gives us a chance to pay our respects to all of the victims.
It reminds us just how lucky we are to not be in their positions.
I believe that if people are going to lambaste the younger population for not caring about the Holocaust, then they need to have a long think.
Young people have been wrongly labelled as ‘inconsiderate, heartless and apathetic’ by the older generations.
If the government were to introduce genocides into the curriculum then more of us would feel we can raise awareness further and prevent genocide from happening again.
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