Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today, it was reported that one in five Germans between the ages of 18 and 29 have no idea that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp. Not coincidentally, the same 1 in 5 figure (age aside) accounts for the number of Germans who are latently anti-Semitic.
Statistics like this remind me why we need to do more than take a few hours out of our schedule on one or two days out of the year to remember that the Holocaust was real, that its victims still walk among us, and that the horror of genocide is still a living reality on this earth.
Holocaust and genocide education is not a matter of becoming depressed by the reality of history and current events. Rather, it is a matter of knowing and understanding that real life is composed of a series of challenges and a matter of choices. Holocaust and genocide studies involve an education that empowers each individual to make good choices in the face of horrific challenges. Knowing history means knowing the difference in order to help make tomorrow a better place, whereas not knowing history ...well, the statistics prove my point.