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PostEducation and Holocaust Memory (Carmen Negrin, -France, 01/28/20 3:43 am)
Surprising numbers from José Ignacio Soler (January 27th).
In the French public school (not in the English meaning of "public school") where my children attended, they were offered at age 13-14 a trip to Auschwitz. Whether they went or not was optional, but at least they had to hear about it. It was part of the school programme. I guess the same happens in Germany as well.
The anniversary commemorations are also well covered by the radio and TV news networks. It seems rather difficult to avoid knowing about it, unless one is only on Internet.
JE comments: The "blame" for Holocaust ignorance is probably not the fault of the educational system, but rather of the students who see no personal relevance in events of 75 years past. With even the youngest survivors getting too old to visit schools, the all-important human connection is lost.
I've visited Auschwitz twice, the first time in 1985. My college travel buddy Chris Brown and I had the whole place almost to ourselves. Nearly as much time has passed since then (35 years), as from the liberation until my first visit (40 years). I returned in the mid-2000s, and Auschwitz had been commercialized with interactive exhibits, a snack bar, and ample bus parking. Something had been lost, even desecrated, in the interim.
A far more chilling and "authentic" camp experience is the smaller but still intact Majdanek, outside Lublin.