In all of nature man is the most deadly creature. Although mankind has a great capacity for love and compassion, it is equally matched by its brutality and utter disregard for human life. No other species can set about on a calculated, systematic, eradication of a race or population. Whether it be for political reasons, racially motivated, or through religious warfare, acts of genocide have littered the landscape of our world’s history. These Mass homicides affect not only the race or population these crimes are perpetrated upon, but affect generations of their progeny and the world community as a whole. Genocidal acts occur throughout the world on an almost everyday basis. And all too often many in our worldwide community are not aware of, or choose not to see. The world turns a blind eye if you will. This is why we must never forget the Holocaust and other acts of genocide where there is loss of human life; education on this subject is paramount and cannot be put on the back burner, for the future of mankind and civilization depends on this knowledge.
Genocide is part of our world history, but there are a few from recent history that stand out in the sheer magnitude of the numbers it has affected. Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazi party under Adolf Hitler murdered upward of six million Jewish men women and children in camps and Ghettos throughout Nazi occupied Europe. This is the most well-known act of Genocide in our history, but by no means the only one. The human race has been trying to destroy what they fear and don’t understand that the beginning of time. According to an article from History.com. In April 1992 the Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia broke off from Yugoslavia. Over the following years the Yugoslav Army targeted Croatian villages, resulting in deaths of 100,000 or more innocent civilians. These acts were covered by the world news, but seem to be forgotten by the masses as the years have gone by. In fact it was one of the most atrocious acts since the Holocaust. To a large percentage of the Adult American population the subject of genocide feels like a distant sad story. Some far off land they see on the evening news. But we need look no further away from home then our own backyard. Let us not forget the genocidal actions of the United States government against the American Indian. In the founding of this nation and conquest of new territory our government pushed unknown numbers, no doubt in the millions out of their native lands. In some cases entire tribes were slaughtered, and their ways of life erased our educational systems would prefer, and usually does gloss over the extermination of villages by the United States Army. Whether done by the gun or sword, or by the early biological warfare method of spreading smallpox through infected blankets. These were clear acts of genocide. These atrocities must not be forgotten. An Honest and ethical educational doctrine should dictate these forgotten chapters of our history must be left in the curriculum, right along honest Abe, abolition of Slavery, and Davy Crocket at the Alamo. Acts of Genocide cannot be brushed under the rug in schools because it’s a sensitive or offensive issue. The conversation should kept open and encouraged publicly. For the sake of a better future society, and for genocide survivors and their offspring, it is imperative that we teach our youth and the public as a whole.
There are however some who believe that education on the issue of genocide is not an important and perhaps even harmful to keep as a bullet point in our curriculums. According to a 2008 article “Remembering the Jewish Holocaust Cannot Prevent Future Genocides” written by Paul Treanor he reasons that governments use the issue of genocide to push their own political agendas, and to sway the public’s opinion on the actions of these nations. He states that many political leaders use acts of genocide to justify military action, and act as world police in places they don’t belong. Furthermore Treanor argues that no real good can come from teaching about acts like the Holocaust, that education on the issue has never promoted society to do the right thing, or prompted people to act in a more tolerant or compassionate way towards his fellow man’s ethnicities, or religious belief systems. Yet over all this point of view is narrow, and doesn’t take into consideration that the answer to indifference is education and enlightenment. To not teach these atrocities is irresponsible, and is clearly an invite for history to repeat itself. If we do not educate future mankind will continually bathe in its own blood.
The global Community is affected in different ways by genocide. These acts are often tempered by the political climates of the regions in which they occur. War is a very influential component in these aggressive hateful acts towards those of different creed color or religion. It creates a barrier between countries and races of people and dehumanize them to each other. And makes acts of aggression towards the opposing side seem almost justified, and desensitizes people to human suffering.
Genocide effects the survivors in extreme ways as well. Many survivors of these inhumane acts can never return to a normal way of being. In many cases they have lost all their loved ones, their way of life, and find themselves living in completely different regions in the life they are accustomed to. It affects the decedents of the victims as well. We see this through children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. It has affected the Jewish community in many ways we don’t and probably can’t understand. These are the things we need to be educated on, these are things we need to understand. We as a world community need to know, we need to be aware. We need to make enlightened decisions where we can, and we need to elect leaders who make the right calls handling these situations. We need to show compassion and understanding in the proper respectful ways.
We’d understand the victims of genocide, and to commemorate them as well. There are many Holocaust museums and monuments to the horrendous acts carried out by the Nazis upon Europe’s Jewish community. This should be an example to other nations, and other races as well to commemorate the victims of genocide. It is a way of healing and a way to educate future generations of the victims, and those of the perpetrators of these atrocities as well. Humans heal through grieving, understanding, and acceptance. We need to learn to accept the differences in each other and learn tolerance. Only then can we heal, and make peace with history’s dark moments and move forward as the human race.
Acts of genocide scar our society, and in many cases completely destroys entire ways of life. Genocidal acts happen on a daily basis around our globe, but seemed to be overlooked by mainstream media. Education on the issue is not readily available unless one was to seek it out. This creates indifference, and keeps the world in the dark on reasons as to why. Schools need to add these crimes on humanity to the curriculums. We can’t continue to skirt this issue. We need to teach future generation about blind aggression against race or religion. Mainstream news needs to cover genocidal acts even in the most remote parts of our globe. To understand these atrocities is of great importance. We need to commemorate, we need to educate and we need to heal. Quite simply education can help prevent future atrocities. Put in the simplest way, “We must not turn a blind eye.”