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In an article on June 18, Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, wrote that the teaching of the Holocaust should focus more on preventing ethnic conflict and genocide.

Before questioning the value of Holocaust education,one should first address its goals:

What, exactly, are we trying to achieve in teaching about the Holocaust? Is it realistic to expect that the study of the Holocaust will diminish human rights abuses and racism, and instead nurture democracy and tolerance? Will mixing the narrative of the Holocaust with other types of atrocities really encourage better human behavior?

Accumulated experience from the field has proven that there are no short cuts.…  Seguir leyendo »

Many countries in Europe and North America now require all high-school pupils to learn about the Holocaust. Why? Because of its historical importance, of course, but also because, in our increasingly diverse and globalized world, educators and policy-makers believe Holocaust education is a vital mechanism for teaching students to value democracy and human rights, and encouraging them to oppose racism and promote tolerance in their own societies.

That was certainly my assumption in 2005 when, as U.N. secretary general, I urged the General Assembly to pass a resolution on Holocaust Remembrance, which included a call for “measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.”…  Seguir leyendo »