Holocaust curriculum should be included in class

Informing brings knowledge of history

Nora Hall

The Minnesota Social Studies Department’s first draft for its curriculum came out with no mention of the Holocaust in their education plan Dec. 1. When looking at it, I didn’t appreciate how it didn’t mention the Holocaust because it is something that needs to be talked about in schools. 

Reviews on the curriculum occur every 10 years. There is also a public comment period that goes till Jan. 4, 2021, and it usually takes two years before there are final standards in place  The draft talks about the standards for each grade and the current development of the draft.

Dec. 10, a letter was written to the Minnesota Department of Education from Jewish Community Relations Council Executive Director Steve Hunegs and Alejandro Baer, the Director of the Center for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. The letter talked about how the amount of required Holocaust topics went from two to zero. They said how it feels like Minnesota is moving backward instead of forward and how anti-Semitic incidents have become more common in schools over the past decade.

I admired how they wrote a letter about getting the Holocaust put into the social studies curriculum. The Holocaust was a big part of time and if not talked about, it will be detrimental to students because there are many important things that they can learned from it by youth. I agree that talking about the Holocaust is taken out of the Minnesota Social Studies standards, we would be moving backwards.

There are many reasons why we need to keep the Holocaust in the conversation for students. One reason is that we learn from our mistakes. If we don’t show students the mistakes in classes, then they won’t know how to prevent the same mistakes from happening again. This is very important for future generations.  

Another reason is that if we don’t talk about it, we will forget about it. Estimates vary but approximately 6 million people were sadly killed, solely on their religious beliefs and political dissidents, the disabled, Romas and those of different sexual orientations. It shouldn’t be forgotten; the victims legacy is imperative to progress society. These people went through incredibly tough times, so we shouldn’t just let it fall through the cracks but try and teach kids about it and how to respect everyone no matter their beliefs. 

Adding Holocaust curriculum into Minnesota Social Studies will benefit everyone. It can be a scary and uncomfortable topic for some, but the outcomes of talking about the Holocaust are worth it. We wouldn’t want to be making the same mistake from the past. We shouldn’t forget the victims and what they went through to get us here today.