Holocaust literature refers to war novels or prison diaries documented during the Nazi era. As generations continue to emerge distancing the holocaust, so is the way history on the same is taught. Holocaust literature and teaching on the Nazi era is mandatory in German schools. In addition to this curriculum, these students have visited either a concentration camp or a holocaust museum. However, there are concerns about how many students this education reaches, and the depth of the information taught. Many scholars have different perspectives on how holocaust literature should be taught. For instance, according to Bunch (2015), the inclusion of holocaust education in the curriculum is not enough; this approach is superficial and does not allow the students to relate to the realities of the subject.
In this period of immigration in Germany, holocaust education plays a huge role informing students of the history of discrimination. Holocaust education sensitizes youths on the detrimental effects discrimination could have on the society while teaching them to fight for their rights. The transformation of state schools into academies has affected the way holocaust education is taught because these academies are free to choose their curriculum. This raises the possibility of some students not learning about the holocaust in their formal education. Holocaust education is mostly taught to 11-14-year-olds. A growing number of schools have concentrated their efforts towards passing examinations at age 16, therefore, have scrapped off holocaust education or reduced concentration to create time for these students to prepare for examinations. The fact that some adults did not get sufficient holocaust education as children necessitates the need for adult holocaust education. Also, instructors are uncertain about what content to teach in the limited amount of time set aside for holocaust education in the packed curriculum.
Seeing to the flaws in students' knowledge on holocaust due to lack of proper dedication to teaching the topic, teachers should extend the amount of time spent on the topic. The holocaust teacher center provides lesson plans that fully cover the topic. Exchange programs between Germany and other countries such as Poland and the US help students learn about the holocaust from different perspectives and therefore gain more insight. There are also other materials available in libraries and online for students to use. The holocaust history covers Jewish life in Europe, anti-Semitism, the world-war II aftermath, and the Nazi regime. All this is essential in shaping the child's perspective of humanity's past mistakes and shaping our leaders of tomorrow.
Adult education can help instill core knowledge and facts about the holocaust. According to Sheehan (2008), many children believe that Hitler was sorely responsible for the holocaust. They also did not fully understand who the Nazis were nor the role collaborators and normal people play in the development of the holocaust. According to Sheehan, holocaust education helps prevent racism and prejudice.
According to Green (2010), an individual is likely to gain more by taking an initiative to learn by themselves than by being taught. There are numerous opportunities for adults to expand their knowledge on the subject. For instance, the holocaust center for humanity is an organization that provides materials to help combat racism and promotes tolerance; among them teachings on the holocaust. There is also the holocaust memorial museum which has many resources on the holocaust. Also, during the holocaust Remembrance Day, information is widely shared on the topic. Adults should utilize the widely available resources on the holocaust. These programs and centers provide non-school settings for students and civilians to frequent and learn.
Green, G. (2010). Holocaust. New York: RosettaBooks Bunch, k. (2015). The Responsibility of Knowledge: Developing Holocaust Education for the Third Generation. Humanity in action. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from https://www.humanityinaction.org/knowledgebase/226-the-responsibility-of-knowledge-developing-holocaust-education-for-the-third-generation
Sheehan, S. (2008). The Holocaust. Mankato, Minn.: Arcturus Pub.
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