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daniel89x's avatar

How is a good way to explain to someone the importance of learnig about the Holocaust?

Asked by daniel89x (280points) January 8th, 2008 from iPhone

I’m taking a class about the Holocaust and there us a friend of mine who doesn’t quite understand the importance of learning about the holocaust. She thinks learning and watching the videos is disrespectful to the Jews. I’d argue my opinion about it but I can’t ever seem to find the right words about how I truly feel.

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6 Answers

Vincentt's avatar

Well, I’d say it’d be even more disrespectful if this would ever happen again, which might very well happen if we don’t work to keep realizing the horrors of it all. Even reproductions can give quite an accurate picture.
Also, often Jews comment on video material themselves whereas I’ve never heard of any person claiming to be offended by someone watching and feeling for what they or their relatives had been through.

sinscriven's avatar

There’s of course the saying that “Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it”.

Though I wonder why she feels it’s disrespectful towards jews, especially since Jews were far from the only casualties in the holocaust, maybe it might be a cop-out that the subject itself makes her uncomfortable. So many lives cut short, so many stories without an ending, and these are stories that want and need to be heard by those who lived and by those who didn’t.

It’s appalling to see the depravity of the human race, and what it can do to itself, but seeing it and feeling it is almost medicinal. If more and more people understand and feel on a personal level the sense of pain, sorrow, and injustice done, then it will be more likely that in the future this will not be allowed to happen again.

gcross's avatar

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how learning how a population was brutalized can be considered disrespectful. To me, it is instead of mark of respect to want to learn about a people, not only the good and/or bad they can take credit for but also their trials and tribulations when interacting with other populations. It demonstrates that you care about them as a people and are interested in their infinite diversity.

It is possible that this person is using this as an excuse to avoid facing the harsh atrocities of the Holocaust. While I personally understand the nature of the Holocaust, and have nothing but sorrow for those who suffered, I cannot endure to view or read about it. Like reading about Hiroshima, such examples of humanity’s greatest atrocities are unendurable for me to view. They invariably plummet me into deepest depression; I am inclined to take on a burden of guilt, in part because of my german, catholic heritage, and in part because of my deep compassion and inclination to identify with my fellow human beings.

In the interest of good will, because this subject is so deep and intense, may I suggest that you delicately ask this person about her feelings in relation to this subject. Do not dump this topic fully-formed into her lap. There must be a sensitive and compassionate way to share this with her without sending her screaming from your acquaintance. Work on it.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

So it doesn’t ever happen again. And yet, look at Darfur and try saying that we could prevent it anyway. Horrible.

DryaUnda's avatar

The Holocaust was a lynchpin event period, just about every social and natural science references it. Morality aside, ignorance of the Holocaust is as bad as ignorance of basic atomic theory.

Misspegasister28's avatar

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

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