In America, the Holocaust Is Losing Its Shock Factor
And people wonder why history repeats itself.
Some Americans joined Israel and its allies Thursday in solemnly observing Holocaust Remembrance Day. To commemorate it, the White House issued a proclamation in which the president “hereby ask[s] the people of the United States to observe the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, April 12 through April 19, 2018, and the solemn anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, with appropriate study, prayers and commemoration, and to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by internalizing the lessons of this atrocity so that it is never repeated.”
That last part — “so that it is never repeated” — is particularly noteworthy. We noted already that only some Americans commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. As it turns out, the Holocaust is slowly losing its shock factor among Americans. According to The New York Times, “For seven decades, ‘never forget’ has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement. But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34.”
All told, 31% of Americans — a number that jumps 10 percentage points among Millennials — are under the impression that Jewish victims numbered about two million, which is one-third of the true total of six million. Furthermore, the Times reveals, “Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. Only 39 percent of Americans know that Hitler was democratically elected.”
These revelations are partly due to anti-Jewish hostility, particularly on the Left. They’re also due to our failed education system, which glosses over certain aspects of history. Granted, the Times adds: “Despite the gaps in the respondents’ knowledge, the study found an overwhelming consensus — 93 percent — that all students should learn about the Holocaust at school. And Holocaust denial remains very rare in the United States, with 96 percent of respondents saying they believe the genocide happened.” But the lesson is clearly losing its weightiness. And the less impactful atrocities become, the less inclined people are to “never forget.”
That term also gets thrown around routinely when it comes to 9/11. But based on the vehement uproar leftists in America display when Republicans advocate policy prescriptions that would avert terrorist acts, it’s evident that the significance of that fateful day is also beginning to wane. That’s exactly how history repeats itself and how presumably safe societies end up, quite literally, on the ash heap of history.
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- World War II
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