Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hail, Britania


This week, the United Kingdom removed all references to the Holocaust from its school curriculum because it offended the Moslem population, which claims it never occurred.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazis murdered six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests while people around the world declined to notice.

Now, Iran joins other nations and individuals, including Mel Gibson, who claim that the Holocaust is a "myth."

There will always be those who prefer to put a prettier face on such atrocities so they can sleep better. It is particularly disturbing, though, when a world leader like England is willing to rewrite history to appease those who have a blatantly vested interest in the outcome.

Pandering to those with hate-filled hearts benefits no one.

When we remember the men, women and children who were butchered for no fault other than their religious beliefs, we not only honor them, we remind ourselves that while the human spirit is capable of conceiving and executing the most heinous acts, it is also capable of great love and heroism.

The number of survivors of the infamous death camps dwindles every year. There are also fewer left who remember seeing crude numbers tattooed on the arms of older relatives, and hearing their tragic personal histories.

Truths die when there is no one left to pass them on. Written records are the only reliable means by which this painful history lesson will reach future generations. Expunging them does not negate their truth. It makes liars of those who support such actions.

We must never let that happen. This particular truth about one of the darkest chapters in human history should not be allowed to sink into oblivion.

If we fail to remember these deeds, we are in grave danger of repeating them.

43 comments:

Travis said...

What a short-sighted and irresponsible decision. This is a disservice not only to those who died in the camps, but to all future generations.

Millions of Jews, Gypsies, Gays, and mentally ill people were killed by the Nazis. To simply write that out of the historical record is criminal.

La Cubana Gringa said...

Well said. I fully agree.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Travis,

When fear is so great that an entire nation capitulates to the unreasonable demands of one group, something is indeed terribly wrong.

La Cubana,

I'm glad. Much as we might like to sweep certain pieces of history under the carpet, we can't. And to try is in effect to commit the same crimes all over again.

Michael C said...

Very well put. I watched a documentary last week about the Nurenburg trials. It's so sad that there was and is so much evil in the world.

I watched one last year about Auschwitz that I will never forget. They quoted from the camp's leader's diary. He recalled a woman with two children and when the younger child tripped on their way to building where they would be gassed that the older child stopped and helped the younger sibling up. The woman then asked the camp's leader how he could do what he was doing to such innocent and loving children.

I'm paraphrasing but I still think of that a lot, especially when I see my girls.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Michael,

It still never fails to amaze me that such evil can exist along with all the beauty in our world.

The story you tell is heartbreaking. And there, but for an accident of birth, go all of us.

When I hear of suicide bombings and campus shootings, it shatters my deep belief that we lucky ones must do good things with our lives, in part as an act of faith toward those who never got the chance to live theirs.

thethinker said...

A myth? That's both ridiculous and disrespectful.

I can't believe the UK did that. It just doesn't make sense to me.

meno said...

The UK? That's crazy!

Mel Gibson, Iraq, i can sort of understand, but the UK? Are they nuts?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thinker,

The following is excerpted from the Daily Mail of April 19, 2007:

"Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'."

It's pretty scary stuff.

Meno,

Sometimes I fear the entire world has gone nuts. And we have a front-row seat. "It's going to be a bumpy ride."

goodthomas said...

I am speechless. That seems like a joke, albeit a very unfunny one. Is it true?

I am astounded at our indifference, our hatred toward one another, on an individual level, when we hear about someone murdering someone just because the color of their skin, their religious or sexual preference. But it takes on a whole new level of befuddlement when a nation deliberately turns their head. Our nation, their nation, all nations.

We take one step forward and then take about seven steps back. Pretty soon we will be unable to move, we will be so far back.

Catherine said...

I'm with goodthomas - really?? They CAN'T be serious!

Speechless. Utterly.

thailandchani said...

Revisionist history. The most common element of government propaganda.

Am I surprised?

No.


~Chani

Molly said...

The Brits have obviously lost their minds. Do I smell books burning too?

Joan said...

You have written most eloquently about this educational blunder. Shame on the United Kingdom. And I thought they were a civilized country.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thomas,

The article I quoted from above was published in the Daily Mail. In trying to research the veracity of this online, I came upon one opinion that it was only happening somewhere in Northern England. However, the Mail article seems more authentic, and is a recognized source.

We are a pretty messed up species.

Catherine,

I'm sure they believe they are promoting world peace or something, but dishonesty never
engenders good.

Thank you for your visit.

Chani,

I suppose it's a matter of degree. They've bitten off a really BIG one to revise this time. Obviously, nothing is sacred.

And I must confess to being surprised at the audacity, the nerve, the chutzpah.

Molly,

Burning at the stake, they are. Consumed by the fires of Hell.

Quite shocking for a country that once controlled more real estate worldwide than anyone else ever has.

thailandchani said...

It is the way of governments, all of them. Their primary objective is to secure their own power by controlling the information "the masses" can access.

And, yes, that's even true of Thailand.

After a while, getting mad at governments for lying is like getting mad at a dog for barking.


Peace,

~Chani

QT said...

I am shocked and don't know what to say.

How can it be denied? How?

There is a museum full of hair and teeth and shoes - how do you explain that away?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Qt,

There are also numerous first-hand accounts of survivors. It's impossible to discredit all of them, as well as the hair and teeth and shoes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Chani,

Controlling information that citizens can access is not exactly the same thing as rewriting history, in my view.

Our government is also very good at the former. The latter wouldn't surprise me,either, but I don't know of specific instances.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

The truth is the truth. You don't alter the truth just because somebody decides to get offended.

If I fail an exam, I could get all offended that it is being suggested I am not good enough to pass the exam. If I get sufficiently offended will they agree to change my mark to a pass with distinction?

EsLocura said...

I can never understand the need for so called political correctness at the cost of truth. sometimes I am so disgusted with humans then I read things like your blog and comments and I feel comfort in knowing at least some humans are still smart enough and loving enough to know better.

Sienna said...

No, no, no....Oh no, this cannot happen, I am gobsmacked.

That must never ever be forgotten, it must be taught and recited to future generations so they know what those innocent people went through, what humans are capable of doing to others.

I accompanied my friend to the Auschwitz 1 and 2 (museum and remains of the 2 site)...her grandparents were killed there, she wanted to see it but didn't want to go on her own.

From the minute I walked into the area a chill got into my body and never left, people didn't talk, they were mostly silent or spoke soft....the Museum, the plaques at Birkenau...Birkenau (Auschwitz 2 camp) I am told was built solely, to kill people, there is a place on this earth that was built, solely to house and kill people....I will never forget the feeling or atmosphere...

The UK cannot do this, it is an affront to all humanity. All people, and especially to the memory of millions of innocent people killed and their friends and families.

I didn't know this had happened, the UK taking these measures...that is devastating news.
Craziness.

Pam

Liz said...

That's absolutely insane. History is history and teachers have the responsibility to tell it all, not to leave parts out because some group might feel offended.

Cursed Tea said...

OK PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your RESEARCH before making such an outrageous post!!!

IT IS FALSE - the UK has NOT ( nor will EVER) removed the Holocaust from school books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see the BBC -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6563429.stm

Please post a correction - I am SO disturbed that people think my country would do such a thing!!!! PLease don't believe everthing you read - this would be headline news at reputable news sites if it were true - which it is NOT!!!!

Thanks
Kirsty

Cursed Tea said...

You seem like you are highly intelligent and you write brilliantly - why do you believe this stuff???

I would be very grateful if you could remove this post and post an explanation.

Please, for my sake and my country's.

Thanks
Kirsty

Cursed Tea said...

The Daily Mail is a horrible paper - they will pounce on anything remotely xenophobic!! I have no doubt that it is challenging for history teachers in the UK to be teaching Muslim kids who are taught one thing at home and anotehr at school on this subject - but the Daily Mail will exaggerate it and turn it into outrageous rubbish!!!

the UK has high standards for education and would never tolerate banning the Holocaust.

Em said...

OMG! I can't believe it. Removing TRUTH because someone is offended? This is just so very wrong.

furiousBall said...

I'm confused I read the BBC article

"In fact the government has reaffirmed that in England, teaching children about the Holocaust is compulsory, and it is not banned elsewhere in the UK."

I don't think it's banned.

Cursed Tea said...

"TRUTH" would be if this actually happened:

"This week, the United Kingdom removed all references to the Holocaust from its school curriculum because it offended the Moslem population, which claims it never occurred"

It DIDN"T - you can voice opinion and I think that is great but to say things which are untrue is in my opinion wrong - especially with such a sensitive subject and the reputation fo an entire country!! The UK also has a sizable Jewish population!!!

EsLocura said...

Heart, I hope you take no offense but I must comment again since cursed tea, did come by and comment on my blog about my comment on your blog...I also did a litle reasearch and although the ban is not in all of the UK, one history department (in the northern UK)did in fact stop teaching the holocaust for the reasons you mentioned. OK, so it isn't a whole country but it is one department and that is still not a good thing.

thailandchani said...

The fortunate thing is that anyone who tries to do such a thing will fail ultimately. As long as there are those of us around who are old enough to remember (I'm a few years late.. but remember from neighbors, etc), the survivors themselves, their children and their grandchildren, it will be impossible to deny the Holocaust.


Peace,

~Chani

mist1 said...

Are you serious?

I thought it was bad when the schools here removed evolution from textbooks.

You can't be serious.

Judith said...

The Mail has an ongoing history of xenophobia and I believe was a pro nazi / sympathising rag during the war.Pandering to one religious fanction and rewriting history? I cant ever see that happening there would be a revolt in the uk. But none the less its SCANDALOUS that even one school should omit this from their history modules - how would they feel if they dismissed their teachings and religions and say there was no grounds to believe these things ever happened. Im so tired of this pandering to a religion that thinks its exclusive to sanctity.

Jocelyn said...

Point beautifully made.

I have had a heavy heart this week over the Virginia shootings, but when I heard the story of the 72-year-old professor there who held the door close while his students climbed out the window, ultimately getting shot and killed himself, I was in awe of such a man. Then they said he'd been a Holocaust survivor and had escaped from Communist Romania, and I sobbed and sobbed. I don't know if there's a heaven or not, but for this man, there had better be.

Katie said...

There is a lesson to be learned here: never trust the Daily Mail.

I've read that they were the only British paper to consistently support the Nazis in the pre-war period.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Squirrel, Eslocura, Pam, Liz, Em (Thanks for visiting,) Mist, Judith, Jocelyn, and Kirsty, (especially Kirsty,)

Thank you all for your intelligent and heartfelt comments.

In view of my discovery that my facts were in fact, wrong, I have issued an apologetic new post.

For the moment, I am not going to remove this one, as it serves to remind me to check and re-check my facts because people do actually read what I write, and erroneous facts can be extremely hurtful.

As I've stated above, I am terribly sorry that I made certain assumptions in presenting such provocative material, but I'm very glad that my facts were wrong.

Thank you all.

Cursed Tea said...

Thank you!!
It means so much to me!

Best Wishes
Kirsty

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Katie,

Ah, humble pie is sooo delicious. I am chagrined that I didn't check my facts better. Frankly, (and this is No Excuse,) I have become so disheartened by US participation in situations that I consider lunacy that it was possible to assume that England had also gone around the bend.

I had no idea that the Daily Mail was also a Nazi sympathizer during World War II.

I won't make that mistake again. Others, I'm sure, lots of others, but not that one.

Thank you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kirsty,

Thank you for accepting my apology. That means so much to me.

Warmest wishes,
Susan

Cursed Tea said...

Susan

Well your blog title is....

Big Hug
Kirsty

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kirsty,

Yes, it is, isn't it? How prophetic. You've made me laugh, much needed after nearly causing an international incident.

Would tea and crumpets be proper penance? Probably not, because I would enjoy them too much.

Cursed Tea said...

maybe "cursed" tea and crumpets!! LOL!!

Oooh, tea that sounds good right now:)

Glad I made you laugh!

Best Wishes
cursed tea

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Furiousball,

I'm sorry I missed your comment. The BBC is a far more reliable source that that other organ, which I cannot bring myself to mention by name right now.

Thank you for being a voice of reason.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Kirsty,

Please. Do come for tea and crumpets (you,) humble pie, (me.)

You did, indeed, make me laugh, and I so appreciate that you would take the trouble.