Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Why is it important to Know about the Holocaust?

Partial transcript of Historian, James Andersen's, Radio Interview with Hal Row [on 1290 WHKY] about the Holocaust.

Hal Row: Why is it important that we know so much about the Holocaust?


James Andersen: It is one of the most important events of the 20th century. It is one that has shaped our world, and a lot of people don’t realize that. It is important to understand how it happened, how the world allowed it to happen, and to raise awareness to ensure that genocide doesn’t happen, that we as a people can stop it from taking place. You know we have had several genocides in the past since the holocaust. It is lack of understanding, lack of knowing our history, and apathetic attitudes towards it that allowed it to happen. So by raising Holocaust awareness, we can teach our children to take a stand against this type of atrocity in the future.

Hal Row: We’re talking about the Holocaust. What are we talking about, a working definition?

James Andersen: The massacre and genocide of approximately 6 million Jews—state sponsored, systematic—that’s the key words, genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews between 1933 and 1945…

Every discussion about the Holocaust needs to begin with  Antisemitism and understanding what motivated these people (the Nazi’s and their collaborators) to do this…

A lot of the killing was done by auxiliary police in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania. Prisoners of war from the Soviet army from the Ukraine were guards at the camps. When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, they had the locals conduct a census to locate Jews. Local farmers would help...the Nazi’s, helping to hunt down and identify Jews…

There are different ways to become collaborators…the US and Cuba, and the rest of the world would deny entry to refugee Jews. People who were trying to flee Nazi Germany had nowhere to go, because no one wanted them in their countries…That type of inaction of course, our almost out of sight out of mind attitude, that was a big role. That was what allowed Nazi Germany to carry this as far as they did…

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