More states are making Holocaust and genocide education a must

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tags: Holocaust, education, genocide

The Armenian community waited anxiously last year to see whether President Barack Obama would utter three syllables—“genocide”—in relation to the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Turks starting in 1915. Hope was high as the centennial approached, but Obama didn’t say the “g-word.” Headlines have shouted about countries that did, and about Turkey’s response—pulling ambassadors from Austriathe Vatican and most recently, Germany. Meanwhile, the media this month covered Italy’s new law against Holocaust denial, and on Friday a conviction and five-year sentence for a former Auschwitz guard.

To a teenager, the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust may seem like ancient history, but they are still frequently in the news and their lessons and warnings remain highly relevant. What’s disconcerting in the U.S. is that not all young Americans reading these headlines have even learned what genocide is, or about the Holocaust, let alone about other instances of genocide in the distant and not-so-distant past.

It might be surprising to hear that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law Tuesday that mandates Holocaust and genocide education in the state’s high schools, making it one of only a handful of states that have enacted such legislation. If Rhode Island’s governor signs a similar bill, which the state’s General Assembly passed Tuesday, the country’s smallest state will be next.

Read entire article at Newsweek

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