In Texas schools the Holocaust (the one where the Nazis killed six million Jews because they were Jews), is a prominent part of the history curriculum. Field trips by classes from rural school districts to the Dallas Holocaust museum, for a prearranged educational orientation, are routine. I know that school districts in other states have a similar focus.
Meanwhile, at the college level, and in the school districts of the bi-coastal 'liberal' elites the opposite is occurring. Ludicrous efforts are being made to homogenize and destigmatize the Jewish holocaust. In fact, the attempt to remember and underline the distinctive horror of the Holocaust, and its consequences in Jewish history and the history of the world, and, particularly, in Israeli history, is being stigmatized. Antisemites and their useful intellectual left-wing idiots are trying to use the holocaust as a weapon against the legitimacy of Israel. The victims and survivors of the Holocaust cannot be allowed their victimhood if Israel is to be painted as the oppressor. It just won't do.
Don't get me wrong. For a long time I have bemoaned the "commercialization" of the Holocaust. I have criticized the manufacturing of antisemitic events and the exploitation of Holocaust tours and such. I see a danger of reducing the evil to a banality. But, now, this concern pales in comparison to the one described above.
Also, to be sure, the distinctiveness of the Holocaust does not imply its uniqueness. In terms of efficient extermination Stalin and Mao were much more efficient than Hitler, yet Hitler gets star billing. We ought to note more the palpable evils committed by communism. It ought to be given much more prominence in our teaching of history to young people.
What was distinct about the Jewish Holocaust was 1. the extermination of one-third of the entire Jewish people 2. for NO OTHER REASON than the fact that they were Jewish. There was no underlying economic motive to explain it - the rush to speed up the work of the gas chambers in the final days of WWII detracted from the Nazi war effort. It was not a terrible accident of bureaucracy. It was not a political strategy to consolidate power. It was instead the insane pursuit of a satanic obsession.And that, in itself, carries important lessons.
The truth is that neither this nor the genocides of the Soviet Union or China is being properly covered in our teaching of 20th century history. As a result we have the specter of ignorant monsters attending our most prestigious universities.
Comment by Will Ricciardella :
I've seen what you describe first hand in my political science classes.
Israel is the real evil in Middle East, and the campus as a whole favors Palestinian groups over campus Jewish organizations.
This is little more than leftist postmodern relativism that feeds their twisted narratives of racism, capitalism and the evil of western cultures.