VOICES: Plea to remember all genocides

Dorset Echo: MORE AWARENESS: Holocaust Memorial Day event at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester MORE AWARENESS: Holocaust Memorial Day event at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester

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.

Comments (3)

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7:34pm Sat 1 Feb 14

David_divenghy2 says...

I think it is largely because propaganda for the holocaust has become so overbearing in the mainstream (especially in education and mainstream media) that the others, many far worse, are by consequence slowly airbrushed from peoples minds.

It is disgraceful that people cannot recall easily mass atrocities outside of the holocaust even when some of them were in their own lifetimes and the holocaust was not, which makes my point in itself. Rwanda was not that long ago and nobody thinks of that? Bosnia? Darfur, that was only Ten years ago. The worst evil of all was unsurprisingly was under communism, Mao, Pot and Bolsheviks/Stalin anywhere between 50-120 million people were slaughtered (depending on who and where you read). If people don't think of that as clearly as the holocaust, then time something was done about it.
I think it is largely because propaganda for the holocaust has become so overbearing in the mainstream (especially in education and mainstream media) that the others, many far worse, are by consequence slowly airbrushed from peoples minds. It is disgraceful that people cannot recall easily mass atrocities outside of the holocaust even when some of them were in their own lifetimes and the holocaust was not, which makes my point in itself. Rwanda was not that long ago and nobody thinks of that? Bosnia? Darfur, that was only Ten years ago. The worst evil of all was unsurprisingly was under communism, Mao, Pot and Bolsheviks/Stalin anywhere between 50-120 million people were slaughtered (depending on who and where you read). If people don't think of that as clearly as the holocaust, then time something was done about it. David_divenghy2

10:09pm Sat 1 Feb 14

taffyinexile says...

Oh dear.

A bright lad asking questions. Unfortunately his education is lacking in other areas as well as that regarding genocides.

He has yet to learn about 'political correctness' and that we dare not teach things in a multicultural school curriculum that might 'offend' those of different ethnic backgrounds.

Around a third (approximately) of the occupants of the UK are now of the Islamic faith. They say the holocaust didn't happen.

Therefore, just as we mustn't 'offend' them as Christians celebrating Christmas, we mustn't offend them and other nationalities, religions or 'minority' groups, by teaching the majority about 'bad things' in history.

Many subjects of which the British are not proud of, in their history of being 'Great Britain', are likewise not taught in any depth in our schools.

He's young, there's time for him to learn.

Hopefully in time, he may not just join the masses who prefer to just forget about it and get on with living in present times.

Who knows, he might just go into politics.

If there are enough like him, they might make a difference.

We ALL live in the hope of change.

Change for the better, not the worse.

Unfortunately we don't all see it.

And some like myself, may not live long enough to see it.
Oh dear. A bright lad asking questions. Unfortunately his education is lacking in other areas as well as that regarding genocides. He has yet to learn about 'political correctness' and that we dare not teach things in a multicultural school curriculum that might 'offend' those of different ethnic backgrounds. Around a third (approximately) of the occupants of the UK are now of the Islamic faith. They say the holocaust didn't happen. Therefore, just as we mustn't 'offend' them as Christians celebrating Christmas, we mustn't offend them and other nationalities, religions or 'minority' groups, by teaching the majority about 'bad things' in history. Many subjects of which the British are not proud of, in their history of being 'Great Britain', are likewise not taught in any depth in our schools. He's young, there's time for him to learn. Hopefully in time, he may not just join the masses who prefer to just forget about it and get on with living in present times. Who knows, he might just go into politics. If there are enough like him, they might make a difference. We ALL live in the hope of change. Change for the better, not the worse. Unfortunately we don't all see it. And some like myself, may not live long enough to see it. taffyinexile

3:30pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Big John* says...

By the fact there are only two comments it just shows that either people are not interested or too afraid to stand up and shout that the holocaust did happen and so did all the other atrocities that have happened in past and recent recent years around the World. But I think more than likely the majority of people know more about what is happening on the "Soaps" which they think is real life rather than actually opening their eyes and ears as to what is happening in the real World.
There is too much **** footing around on these issues for fear of upsetting some minority group for 'political correctness'.
Tell it as it is, we do not want history wiped out as they did in the text books for schools in Japan when they refused to tell the truth about the horrors and war crimes that went on during the WW2.
We have also covered up some very bad times in our history, are children taught about the killings and mass torture in Kenya by the British military so that some colonials could go out there and grow tea? and are they tought what happened at Jallianwala Bagh massacre, know as the Amritsar massacre?
Yes all these things happened in the past but should not be forgotten
and hid under the carpet.
All our history should be taught, good or bad.
By the fact there are only two comments it just shows that either people are not interested or too afraid to stand up and shout that the holocaust did happen and so did all the other atrocities that have happened in past and recent recent years around the World. But I think more than likely the majority of people know more about what is happening on the "Soaps" which they think is real life rather than actually opening their eyes and ears as to what is happening in the real World. There is too much **** footing around on these issues for fear of upsetting some minority group for 'political correctness'. Tell it as it is, we do not want history wiped out as they did in the text books for schools in Japan when they refused to tell the truth about the horrors and war crimes that went on during the WW2. We have also covered up some very bad times in our history, are children taught about the killings and mass torture in Kenya by the British military so that some colonials could go out there and grow tea? and are they tought what happened at Jallianwala Bagh massacre, know as the Amritsar massacre? Yes all these things happened in the past but should not be forgotten and hid under the carpet. All our history should be taught, good or bad. Big John*

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