Young Germans Unaware of Auschwitz

I've heard many times, "What are they teaching kids in school today?" In fact, I've probably said that a few times myself. But, one thing I do remember being taught is about the holocaust of World War II. I remember reading about the concentration camps, the mass murder of millions of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and anyone not of the Aryan race. You would think that schools in Germany, home of the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler and the "Final Solution", would make it a point to teach German children about the holocaust, concentration camps and mass murder during WWII. Having said that, I'm sure this is taught in German schools. But, something is not working. According to a report, one in five young Germans, aged 18-29, had no idea what Auschwitz was during WWII. Ninety percent did know it was a concentration camp. But, a clear 20% did not know Auschwitz was a place of death. One-third did not even know Auschwitz was in Poland, not Germany.

I can't say I find this surprising. It is not just German youth that is ignorant of the past. It is American kids as well. I wager at least 90% in that 18-29 age group know that Barack Obama is the President of the United States. But, how many Americans, in that 18-29 age group, would know what party he belongs to? How many could even name the two major political parties in the USA? According to a report, in August of 2011, American youth 18-23 could recognize a photo of Abraham Lincoln. But, they could not explain why he was such an important president. A report in March of 2011 stated that 29% of Americans (regardless of age) could not name the Vice-President of the USA. Only 37% knew there were nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. So, what has happened? Is there a malaise about history in schools and the public in general? Or is it just poorly educated people? I suspect it is combination of both. What's that old saying? Those that don't know history are destined to repeat it? I hope for the sake of this entire world, that does not come true.

 Subscribe in a reader


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...