Holocaust Awareness – is it just me or…

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  • Holocaust Awareness – is it just me or…
  • Jamie
    Member

    Does not compute.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Think it’s bad with people of our generation, the yoof is even more insular and uninterested in anything outside their bubble. Maybe it’s always been like that, feels like it’s getting worse. In the past with less media to go to, i.e. basically telly / radio people would end up picking up information and news by accident as it was bundled with other content. These days with the ability to fine tune your content consumption, if it doesn’t appear in your twitterer feed you don’t hear about it.

    johnellison
    Member

    Think it’s bad with people of our generation, the yoof is even more insular and uninterested in anything outside their bubble. Maybe it’s always been like that, feels like it’s getting worse. In the past with less media to go to, i.e. basically telly / radio people would end up picking up information and news by accident as it was bundled with other content. These days with the ability to fine tune your content consumption, if it doesn’t appear in your twitterer feed you don’t hear about it.

    I hear what you are saying, but the guy’s the same age as me give or take – I covered the basics of it at school way back when, so surely he must have had some similar exposure to it?

    At times, TV coverage of it (especially at significant anniversaries) is pretty much at saturation level. It simply is one of those events that we cannot ignore or be allowed to be forgotten so I can’t get my head round how he’s managed to completely bypass it (or at least profess to have no knowledge of it).

    What was also significant was that the lad who was working behind the bar was pretty shocked about my mate’s level of knowledge too, and he’s only in his early twenties.

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    I’m a similar age but I don’t recall covering it at school. However I’ve read a few books on it and as you say the media coverage is such (and rightly so) that it beggars belief that someone in their 40s has never even heard of it.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    the Holocaust is probably one of, if not THE greatst crime against humanity ever perpetrated

    Well, it is certainly one of the most publicised ones, perhaps because there were so many surviving Jews in western societies.

    Its probably also worth mentioning, just to round out the picture that other genocides have occured:

    the Ukranian Famine (estimates between 1.8 and 7.5 million deaths)

    the Three Years Difficult Period (estimates range 15mil – 45mil deaths) in China.

    Khmer Rouge (about 2 million)

    Europeans annexing America (erm, lots)

    Rwanda (0.5 – 1million)

    and probably many more, sadly.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    ^ all of which takes nothing away from the fact that its quite amazing that a reasonably intelligent 40 year old hasn’t heard of the holocaust, it was a world changing event, particularly for western europe.

    peterfile
    Member

    I’m going to call BS on this one. It’s pretty much impossible to go through 40 years of life in this country without having been made aware of it at some point.

    That said, my best friend’s mum had never heard of John Wayne. I’m not comparing John Wayne to the Holocaust btw, before i’m labelled as anti-Semitic by the STW Offence Police.

    toonfan
    Member

    Wasn’t there a study a few years ago that found a significant number of people thought Hitler was a fictional character? It’s frightening that folk don’t know of some of the most important events in history.

    glupton1976
    Member

    Who is John Wayne?

    nealglover
    Member

    I am as shocked as you are that he didn’t know anything about it.
    And I would consider myself pretty well educated on the subject.

    However,

    events like the Wannsee Conference, the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos, and various other

    I would be lying if I said I had heard of any of those ?

    Edric 64
    Member

    events like the Wannsee Conference

    Not heard of this either .The Polish ghettos, yes

    mrmo
    Member

    It doesn’t actually surprise me, I don’t actually remember being taught about it, i am 39. I do remember watching world at war, reading about it, but that is me doing the digging. Plenty on the Romans, middle ages that sort of thing, but the history curiculum i seem to remember is a little chronological so if you dropped it before GCSE you stood a fair chance of not being taught modern history. (syllabus and school may differ)

    Found a newspaper behind the skirting the other day date october 1915 and it had some story about a nurse on trial for spying i think. My mum knew the story immediately but i had never heard of it.

    The way i look at history is is anyone alive who actually was there.

    If people are still alive it will be remembered, as soon as those people start to die it will be forgotten. Sometimes surprisingly quickly.

    How to look at life, no one will remember who you are or what you did in 100 years. So don’t worry about it! (there are VERY few exceptions to this!)

    hilldodger
    Member

    I’m aware of Holocaust, but only in an abstract “bad shit happened” kind of way – details, numbers, names etc – not a clue, and not a bother

    antigee
    Member

    54 (I think) last week and school history for me was the industrial revolution to 1918. That was the syllabus

    johnellison
    Member

    events like the Wannsee Conference, the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos, and various other

    I would be lying if I said I had heard of any of those ?

    The Wannsee Conference took place at the Wannsee villa in Berlin on the 20th January 1942. It was chaired by SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich (the so-called Butcher of Prague) who was tasked by Hermann Goering to promulgate a “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” – in otherwords to come up with a framework and timetable for the extermination of the Jews within the German Reich. Attendees included Adolph Eichmann and Rudolf Hoess (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, who was by that time in the Tower of London) who eventually became commandant at Auschwitz. It took the conference a little over 90 minutes to finalise it’s plans. It is from this that we get the euphemism, “Final Solution”.

    The Warsaw and Lodz ghettos were walled prison camps within those cities where the Jewish populations were coralled so that they were under full control of the SS, SD and Gestapo. At it’s peak, the Warsaw ghetto covered about 1,3 square miles but was home to around 400,000 people who attempted to survivie in the most appalling conditions, on average 9.2 people per room. The ghettos were eventually cleared en masse and the occupants transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau for liquidation.

    I have to admit that what we learned at school was only a small part of the whole and only covered the basics; but I think to claim total ignorance beggars belief.

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
    Subscriber

    We teach this as part of the GCSE course, but not everyone does this, so possible not to do it at school? It is essential in my eyes to expose people to the possibility of the corruoption of humanity, but it is the hardest topic to teach and teach well.

    I was always into history, so naturally I would have heard about it, perhaps, circumstances contrived against him ever hearing about it or coming across it ……possible…?

    last night I was reading about the Nazi Womans role in the Holocaust, there is a new book out all about it, truly horrifying what these women did to Jewish children…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2432620/Hitlers-Furies-The-Nazi-women-bit-evil-men.html

    johnellison
    Member

    Lat night I went out to my local to watch the Manchester Utd v Liverpool league cup game, and met a mate who I’ve known for a long time.

    This mate is 40 years old, reasonably intelligent, good job, nice house and car, married, and has a 12-year-old daughter.

    As is usual, I asked him how the family are, to which he replied fine. Then he floored me completely by asking me if I’d ever heard of a thing called the Holocaust? Because his daughter is learning about it at school and been asking him about it?

    Now, given that the Holocaust is probably one of, if not THE greatst crime against humanity ever perpetrated, I’m fairly certain that I was justified in letting my bottom jaw hit the floor.

    The guy reckons genuinely to be completely unaware of it – he was only vaguely aware of the existence of places like Auschwitz-Birkenau (although he couldn’t tell me what had happened there), events like the Wannsee Conference, the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos, and various other significant events, places and personalities involved. He actually didn’t know that it had all taken place only 80-odd years ago.

    I was absolutely astonished at his level of ignorance on this given his reasonable intelligence and political views.

    Is it just me? Am I missing something here? Or is the individual in question just being wilfully ignorant?

    peterfile
    Member

    I’m aware of Holocaust, but only in an abstract “bad shit happened” kind of way – details, numbers, names etc – not a clue, and not a bother

    Maybe I’ve misinterpreted your post, but are you saying that you’re not bothered about stuff to do with the Holocaust?

    andrewh
    Member

    My former housemate had never heard of Napolean.
    Another didn’t know who the Falklands war (another housemate and I were trying to remember ‘H’ Jones’ first name, she had no idea what we were on about)

    johnellison
    Member

    I do think that there is a general tendency to dismiss history, however recent, as being irrelevant if you didn’t live through it, but to my mind it’s an incredibly blinkered approach to take.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone should be able to reel off dates, names, places and event and know the minutiae of each one, but history tells us why the world is like it is, why people behave as they do and how everything came about.

    To not know this, or not want to know, is criminal negligence in my book.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    To not know this, or not want to know, is criminal negligence in my book.

    Melodramatic much?

    gonefishin
    Member

    …I were trying to remember ‘H’ Jones’ first name, she had no idea what we were on about

    Errr I’ve no idea who you are on about. Did you mean Herbert Jones? I googled the name and this is the first one that came up. In the grand scheme of world history the Falklands was a fairly minor skirmish.

    natrix
    Member

    But what about the treatment of German POWs by the Americans?

    Approximately 1 million German POWs were killed by the Americans, but you never tend to hear about it. For a personal account, see http://www.rense.com/general19/diary.htm

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    h jones???

    we certainly covered wwII in history at school, dont remember specifics on holocaust but Im aware of it

    just send him a dvd of schindlers list or even the episode of band of brothers when they reach the camp

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    ^This.
    Massively important history is a box set you might not have got round to yet. Agree about the problem of GCSE history being optional, and history being taught roughly chronologically these days, if you don’t choose the option, you stop at 1870 or 1918.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    It’s the ignorant insular digital world , innit !

    Rather than giving people access to better quality information, it actually means they never actually have to move out of what is the short term sheper of their interest. Many seem to live in a self absorbed bubble.
    I’m 53, I was taught about the final sloution etc at school – but it wasn’t branded “The Holocaust” at the time. At University, on of my fellow students had parents who had been in Awschwitz, a lecturer’s parents had been etc, so maybe it was more relevent.
    Whilst, with the passage of time, genocide seems to happen on a regular basis – Cambodia, China, Russia, Balkans etc and no matter how horrific the stories , we still go tribal at the drop of the hat. It doesn’t alter how horrific the Nazi killing machine was – I have visited Belsen-Bergen, Dachau and Sachenshausen. Sachensenhausen is possibly the grimmest place I have ever been … it is a huge killing compound and was metres from the nearest town.

    Beware that the Germans have learnt alot about their past – they are sheepish about talking about it and embarrassed – but very aware of the legacy.

    Get you mates daughter to go and read about this guy and his mission

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolperstein

    johnellison
    Member

    but you never tend to hear about it.

    In much the same way that you never hear about the pogroms in the Soviet Union both before and after the Second World War, or the treatment of German PoWs by Soviet authorities. Or, if we want to be really damning, the treatment of the German people by their own government from 1933 to 1945.

    Not forgetting that the Americans and British came up with the idea of concentration camps as we know them, in the Civil War and Boer War respectively. Try Googling “Andersonville”.

    philbert31
    Member

    A female friend of mine didn’t even know WW1/WW2 had happened let alone the Holocaust, it only came about when I mentioned Adolf Hitler and she asked who he was!! She’s 40 by the way, I couldn’t grasp how she knew nothing about any of it!!

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    George Santayana

    Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    ^ dude was a genius

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    History at school – no, don’t recall getting this. My daughter at least has, and I’m glad. Being brought up on a diet of Commando comics (I’m 50) at least I’m of an age when it was still ‘recent’ history.

    Aware (later) of Warsaw ghetto, Wannsee conference (through reading Fatherland), Heydrich (same). So the details gleaned through exposure to popular culture.

    But yes other crimes against humanity were sadly plentiful. Stalin in particular managed to polish off quite a lot of his own Soviet citizens through his reign, that I’ve only properly, recently, become aware of..

    5thElefant
    Member

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    They remember the past in ireland, the middle-east and the balkans (amongst others).

    Which is why they still murder each other because of arguments their distant ancestors had.

    edlong
    Member

    mrmonkfinger makes the most pertinent point imo. History is written by the victors – the Nazi holocaust is generally the best known to us (early 21st century western europeans), but perhaps it’s more of a scandal and an indictment of modern education etc. etc. not that a few people have managed to miss knowing about that one, but that probably the vast majority have not even a passing awareness of many of the others mentioned.

    And before we get too smug about Stalin, Pol Pot etc, I’d like to add to mrmonkfinger and jamie’s list for consideration:

    The Great Famine (Irish “potato” famine).

    marcus7
    Member

    I’d consider myself fairly up to speed about the events around ww2 and I have never heard of 1 million German pows being killed by the Americans, ever. I’m aware illegal killings of prisoners by the allies happened and in particular the Pacific campaign but 1 million Germans pows? seems unlikely but I’m willing to investigate it myself as I feel a bit like I’ve missed a big part of ww2 history.

    Gunz
    Member

    the yoof is even more insular and uninterested in anything outside their bubble.

    I’m sorry but I believe that young people today are just as passionate and involved in historical and political interests as ever. Writing them off is more an indication that the person voicing this opinion has ceased to communicate with the subsequent generation.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    How many 40 somethings know anything about the English Civil War, the foundation of our modern state?

    Though not having heard of the Holocaust AT ALL does strike me as utterly unbelievable.

    Pfft… call that a Holocaust~ how about the Native Americans…

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/American_Indian_Holocaust

    ‘Estimates of the pre-Columbian population vary, from a minimum of 50 million to a maximum of 100 million; 80 to 90% were killed’

    More directly linked, could events in Palestine be a direct result of the atrocities conducted throughout the holocaust, spread out over a far longer timescale?

    How about this for an illustration of propaganda and double standards on these issues:

    ‘On 23 March 2011, the Knesset approved, by a vote of 37 to 25,[32] a change to the budget, giving the Israeli Finance Minister the discretion to reduce government funding to any non-governmental organization (NGO) that organizes Nakba commemoration events’

    from:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakba_Day

    johnellison
    Member

    How many 40 somethings know anything about the English Civil War, the foundation of our modern state?

    Not many, I’ll warrant.

    I never cease to be amazed at how the vast majority of people can stumble through life completely deaf and blind to what goes on around them or what has gone before. If you don’t know where you’ve been how can you possibly know where you are going?

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