Why study the Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the systematic, state-engineered genocide of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, resulting in the murder of approximately 6 million Jewish people, including one and a half million children.
At the same time, other groups were persecuted by the Nazi regime and their collaborators.
The Holocaust was a defining event in the 20th Century that teaches us powerful and enduring lessons about humanity in shaping our world today. The Holocaust is, at its core, a human story which makes us question how it was humanly possible. It allows students to recognise the short- and long-term causes and effects of prejudice, discrimination and, ultimately, genocide.
Studying the Holocaust, allows students to develop the capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens. It shows us how fragile the institutions that are supposed to protect the rights and security of everyone can be, and how they should not be taken for granted. Learning about the dangers of hatred and discrimination in the Holocaust is important to fighting intolerance and prejudice in today’s world.
Studying the Holocaust provides opportunities to explore and inspire with stories of courage and adversity, upstander behaviour and resilience. These lessons can encourage students to build an understanding of, and value, a diverse and cohesive society.
Reviewed 09 December 2020