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Did you learn about the Holocaust in school? Do/did your kids?

You won’t believe the answers these college students gave when asked about the Holocaust. 

PA woman Rhonda Fink-Whitman, whose mother survived the Holocaust, set out to learn what college students in her state know about the mass genocide. She started her interviews with the simple question, “What was the Holocaust?” Here are some of the answers she heard:

-“It was a, uh, I don’t know how to say it like. It was something that happened in. Oh my God, I know the answer but I don’t know how to explain it.”
-“I have no idea … is it Europe? I don’t think so.”

She also asked which country Adolf Hitler was the leader of:
-“I forget.”

At the University of Pennsylvania, Fink-Whitman asked students how many years ago the Holocaust occurred. One woman thought it happened around 1800 and then guessed 300 years ago. Another student thought Winston Churchill was an American military leader.

Students couldn’t say what kind of camps prisoners were held in. When prompted with the letter “c,” a male student figured out the answer “concentration camps.” But he couldn’t name even one. He also didn’t know what Auschwitz was when asked.

Fink-Whitman says her video is not meant to “embarrass, humiliate or shame” anyone. “You can’t blame the kids,” she said. “Nobody’s teaching it to them.”

Answer Question

Asked by tntmom1027 at 4:08 PM on Oct. 18, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 27 (31,955 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • Very briefly in 9th grade- US History
    no,not yet

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:11 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Yes both DH and I and then again our kids.
    I think it is sad

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:12 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Thank all the helicopter moms who threw a tantrum when schools were showing free copies of Schindler's List in schools. They bitched and moaned so much about it, schools backed off from scarring the precious little snowflakes with the subject at all.

    It was taught when I was in school, in fact, it was the only subject our history teacher addressed with more detail than simply assigning a chapter and giving a lecture.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:12 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • I believe it, but don't see it much personally. Anthro major with lots of history major friends cause I work in a history museum. I do see it sometimes in the guests that come through our museum, but you restrain yourself from correcting people in public, then again people that stupid probably wouldn't be in a history museum anyway..

    Answer by emptynstr at 4:12 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • I am 52yo and I learned it in school.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:14 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • It was taught when I was in high school my 8yo knows about it because he loves history of all sorts.

    Answer by liss05 at 4:18 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Wow, that is truly sad. I remember learning about the event in the WWII context in middle school and again in high school, and reading "The Diary of Anne Frank." Granted, we were spared some of the more disturbing details, but I can't imagine college students not knowing what country Hitler was the leader of. That's just scary. My stepson did ask me who Hitler was before he went to high school, and that was bad enough, but he did study WWII later in high school history.

    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:25 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Did you learn about the Holocaust in school? Not so much - I learnt way more in college.

    Do/did your kids? Yes they will... if the curriculum doesn't take a nose dive. I co-taught a 11th grade history class last year and they spent a good amount of time on this. They even did a great on-line graphic project to go with it. It was a great unit!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 4:31 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Did you learn about the Holocaust in school? Not so much - I learnt way more in college.

    ^^^ let me clarify... I remember learning way more about it in college. I graduated from HS in 86 so I can't remember how much we hit on it -but I don't remember it being that much.

    Answer by Crafty26 at 4:34 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

  • Yes, and mine have learned some, although they are still a little young for the gory details.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 4:40 PM on Oct. 18, 2013

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