The importance of the Holocaust
Growing up as an African-American I was often educated about Slavery but wasn’t really educated about the Holocaust. But it was one day when I watched a movie called Freedom Writers at age 12 I learned about the Holocaust. In the movie a teacher made her “racially-segregated”class read a book called The Diary of Anne Frank in hopes of trying to make everyone in the class get along. When the class read the book it touched them and everyone in the class from different races started getting along and became friends.
While watching the movie I learned about the Holocaust and how it affected Jews. I remember watching the part of the movie when various holocaust survivors and Miep Gies, the woman who sheltered Anne Frank from the German soldiers came to the high school and told the class about what they went through. I immediately started crying and grabbed the handle of my seat in the movie theater feeling so sad and filled with rage at the same time. All I could think of was picturing these innocent people going through discrimination, living in “ghettos”, losing their lives through gas chambers and plenty of other malevolent acts. I mean these were innocent human beings who were treated like savages. It made me realize that Blacks were not the only ones in history that went through a long period of suffering.
Jews went through it too in fact more people died during the Holocaust than in African-American slavery. After watching the movie I started to research more about the Holocaust and started reading books and watching movies that had something to do with the Holocaust like The Diary of Anne Frank and Sarah’s Key and many others. I became interested in learning more about history and how it affected groups of people. The Holocaust did not start out like slavery. In slavery Europeons captured different African tribes and put them on a ship and dropped them off in South America, The Caribbean, and North America where they worked excessively on farms and got treated horribly and abusively. The Holocaust started off with open and infleuntial discrimination and then later moved on to abusive treatment.
Hitler “brainwashed” the Germans and other Europeans into thinking Jews and people with mental or physical disabilities were equivalent to an animal or an alien calling them things like unhuman,weird, and evil. He “brainwashed” them by blaming the Jews for their loss in World War I, which started a lot of German hatred towards Jews. He even created posters all over Germany saying horrible things about Jews; created badges to label someone as a Jew to seperate them from other Europeans; and segragated Jews from the rest of society by placing them in unsanitary and dirty living conditions called “ghettos”. This later on got worse when other Europeans started doing the same thing as the Germans and when Hitler tried to kill all Jews. Hitler started to search for any Jew he can find so he can kill them by attacking them with Poison gas, mass open air shootings, working prisoners to death in slave labor camps, and giving the victims inadequate food and no medication which made them die of malnutrition and diseases. Some people think history is pointless and that there isn’t any purpose to it.
But what some people don’t know is that history is actually a reflection of things that can happen in the future. History shows us that things like the Holocaust can happen and it shows us how it affected people when it did happen. The Holocaust was an eye opener in history because it made people realize that racism,discrimination, and prejudice is not okay. It shows people that at the end of the day were all humans regardless of our differences and we should stick together and promote peace instead of violence and discrimination and other forms of hatred. These are the reasons why the Holocaust rememberance, history and lessons should be passed on to a new generation.
The new generation should learn about the Holocust and help to stop these kind of horrible events from happening again in history because when the older generation is gone, the newer genertaions are going to be the ones to make the choices in their lives that are going to make and continue history. A way to influence the new generation to look down on forms of hatred like racism,discrimination etc. is to do something to combat and prevent prejudice, discrimination and violence in our world today. It’s one thing to teach the history of the Holocaust to a new generation but there are still going to be ignorant people in the world. So actually going out there to prevent and stop any forms of hatred is what’s going to make a bigger effect. People can join organizations that goes against any forms of hatred like European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (International), Anti-Racism and Hate (USA), Anti-Prejudice Consortium, SAVE etc.
You can also use Google to find more organizations in your area. Another way to help stop forms of hatred is to put your feelings into forms of art. Express your feelings on racism,discrimination, and violence into things like poetry, essays , songs, scripts, theater, and many more. Art can change the way people view about things because it’s very influential.
Other things you can do to prevent any forms of hatred is to report anyone if you see them doing any acts of hatred towards you or anyone else. Whether it’s towards an elderly person, a disabled person, a homosexual, a Jew,Asian,African-American etc. Any type of discrimination or violence towards any person of any age,gender,race,religion etc. is not acceptable and it is just as hurtful towards anyone else as it would be to you. People should also put up posters going against racism,discrimination and any sort of hatred. Any type of way you can convince a person to get along with everyone regardless of their differences and promote peace you should do it because just one person can make a big difference.
Although the Holocaust was a horrible time in history there is nothing anyone can do now but to avoid something like that to happen again in history by spreading the remembrance,history and lessons of the Holocaust onto a new generation and telling young people about what they can do to prevent prejudice,discrimination, and violence in our world today. If everyone can come together and do something to combat and prevent prejudice, discrimination and violence the world can be a better and happier place for all of us to live in without feeling inferior or disrespected.