As an eyewitness to the testimonies of many survivors, I now have an obligation to keep their stories alive. When the survivors of the Holocaust tell us about their experiences, they charge us.
This month marks 100 years since the start of the Armenian Genocide. This event raises important questions. How do historical events influence our identity and our perception of the "other"? Why do genocides frequently take place under the cover of war? What choices do individuals, groups, and nations have when responding to genocide and other instances of mass violence?
Last week, the United States media reported on an event that took place at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
A month ago, UCLA student Rachel Beyda put herself forward as a candidate for a student judicial board position. In the interview process, a student board member asked her, "Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?"
Members of the board then debated her candidacy and her ability to be unbiased.
I remember driving to work one morning in 2008, vaguely paying attention to the DJ discussing Ashton Kutcher‘s recent Twitter rant about noisy neighbors. I had no idea what Twitter was.I was 25 at the time, right about at the stage in my life where adulthood began to officially set in and my knowledge of all things trendy began to rapidly decrease.
Issues of civil rights and religious tolerance are as relevant today as they were during the American civil rights movement in the 1960s and ’70s, and in the years before, during, and after the Holocaust. How do we make these issues relevant to young people?
Just because an episode in history took place long ago does not mean that we stop asking questions about it, about whose stories are told as we remember, and about what our assumptions about history mean for our lives today.
Reviewing the year we will soon be leaving behind, here are the Top Five Most Read Posts from Facing Technology
Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, English Language Arts, Film, Antisemitism, Facing History and Ourselves, Civil Rights, Stereotype, Holocaust and Human Behavior, EdTech, ELA, Holocaust Education, Common Core State Standards, Blogs, Online Learning, Flipped Classroom, Facing Technology
Survivor testimonies—firsthand accounts from individuals who lived through genocide and other atrocities—help students more deeply appreciate and empathize with the human and inhuman dimensions of important moments in history. They supplement what we learn from historians and secondary sources by offering unique perspectives on the difficult and sometimes impossible situations individuals were forced to confront during moments of collective violence and injustice.
The recent row over Bill Maher and Ben Affleck's heated discussion of Islam on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher strikes me as an opportunity for a civic lesson–one rooted not in debating who is right or wrong, or who is bigoted or not, but one, that, in true Facing History and Ourselves fashion, is rooted in history. At Facing History, we have learned that history often provides a needed distance from which we can illuminate the present and inform more productive civic dialogue.
Topics: Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Human Behavior, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Religious Tolerance, News, Readings, Identity, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Resources, History