Not In Jersey: The Mandate Video The Mandate Video - Not In Jersey

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Mandate Video

A friend of mine recently shared this video with me and I think it is important to share it further. The creator of this video is Rhonda Fink-Whitman, the writer of the book 94 Maidens, which is a novel inspired by true events that occurred in 1942 in Nazi Germany. Fink-Whitman interviewed Pennsylvania public school graduates enrolled at four different PA universities to see what they knew about the Holocaust, WWII, and Genocide in general. Pennsylvania does not have mandatory Holocaust education in public schools. In fact, only 5 states do have mandates for this education – CA, FL, IL, NJ, and NY. The basic facts that these college students did not know shocked me. The questions asked of them ranged from the simple to the more complex, but to be honest, they all were things a college student should know. Here are some of the questions that were posed:

What was the Holocaust?
Where did the Holocaust happen?
Which country did the Holocaust start in? (no, Europe is not a country…)
Which country was Adolf Hitler the leader of? (no, Amsterdam is not a country…)
About how many years ago did the Holocaust take place?
What were the prison camps commonly known as?
Can you name one of these camps?
What was Auschwitz?
What was the Night of Broken Glass?
What were the Nuremberg Laws?
What were the Nuremberg Trials?
What was the significance of a ship called the St. Louis?
Which U.S. President was responsible for sending a boat load of Jews back to a certain death in Europe?
What was the “Final Solution”?
How many Jews were murdered?
What other groups were targeted besides Jewish people?
What type of experiments were done on prisoners of Auschwitz?
What did they do to twins in Auschwitz?
Name a form of resistance during the Holocaust.
Why did the Americans storm the beaches of Normandy?
Where is Normandy? (no, Normandy is not a country…)
Which event brought the United States into World War II?
What was the ghetto uprising and where did it take place?
What did they tattoo on prisoners arms in Auschwitz and other camps?
What U.S. general ordered his troops to take pictures of what they found at the camps when they got there so that no one would ever deny or forget what they did there?
Who was Josef Mengele?
Who was the President of the United States during WWII / the Holocaust?
Who was Winston Churchill?
Who were known as the Allies?
Who was Anne Frank?
What did the Nazis make the Jews wear to identify them as Jews?
What is the difference between a perpetrator, a victim, and a bystander?
What is genocide?
Is genocide taking place today anywhere?

At about 9:45 in the video, Fink-Whitman turned her questions to students from New Jersey and New York. You can imagine they knew a lot more of the answers than the other students. I grew up knowing about the Holocaust. I attended after school Hebrew school and two of my teachers were Holocaust survivors. Obviously I am from New Jersey and I did take a class on the Holocaust in high school. I also took a class on the Holocaust in college. I have been to the Holocaust museums in New York, Washington, D.C., California, and Israel. At each one, I learned a little more. There are some questions above (specifically the one about the St. Louis) that I remember learning at a museum, not in high school. But don’t you think all high school graduates should at the very least know what the Holocaust was and where it took place? (And aside from that, shouldn’t they know what is a country and what isn’t?)

Do you know the answers to these questions? Do you remember learning about the Holocaust in school or elsewhere? Do you think Holocaust education should be mandatory in public high schools? How did this video make you feel?

24 comments:

Janine Huldie said...

Not only did I learn about the holocaust from living in NY all my life, but when I was teaching the curriculum for the 8th graders in the English class included reading Anne Frank and talking about this topic in depth with them. We used to have one section a day to review with all the students (even though I typically was more science and math for this review period), I still helped with the English and always fascinated me to see the kids reactions when we would talk about this. Also, my grandfather served during WWII and both my grandparents talked about this with me growing up extensively, since they did live through it (during that time in history). Thanks for sharing the video here and very interesting to see the difference in the students who learned this versus those who didn't. I definitely think this should be mandated to teach throughout the country and not just select parts.

Dara said...

being from NY, you're in one of the states mandated with it, which I definitely do think should be all over!

Dara said...

wow, this also ties into the family history thing!

Dara said...

actually I'm not friends with the lady in the video, just another friend of mine shared this with me. it is part of the curriculum in public schools in the 5 states mentioned, and I guess other schools may teach it but don't have to.

Dara said...

thanks for your long comments and you are right, I hadn't even thought about how important it is to remember just because it could happen again. I guess that point was made in the video, where it says about genocides happening today, but I was too busy being appalled to think of the larger point! definitely in FL there are enough Jewish people that it is even mandated to be taught where you are, and I too agree it should be everywhere.

Breenah said...

I thought I knew quite a bit because even though I didn't go to school in one of the mandatory states, I still learned about it. We also read Night by Elie Wiesel my senior year (the sophomore class read it that year too). I do think it should be mandatory everywhere especially since there are still people around who claim it's a hoax or fabrication.

Dara said...

some of the questions are harder than others, but I'd certainly expect college students to have some grasp of basic history!

Leslie said...

Wow.,this is so sad. I know most of the questions. I grew up in Maine and we were taught about he holocaust and my senior year I even took a class solely dedicated to it.

Dara said...

I'm glad to hear you learned about it in Maine!

Anne Byerley said...

Hi Dara,
Thank you for co-hosting, perfect Sunday blog hop.
I am coming to you from http://www.wabyerley.blogspot.com, and you would be very welcome to visit me. I had to delete my last blog, so blog brand new, only one follower so far.
I hope that you have a fantastic day.
Love and best wishes.
Anne

Dara said...

thanks for stopping by!

EK Bradley said...

It is so inetgral people learn about this tragedy, as how can we prevent it from reocurring if people are ignorant on what happened? Thanks for posting this!

Dara said...

definitely. thanks for the comment!

heidi said...

That video is scary! Don't they read The Diary in Anne Frank in school anymore? It's scary because genocide is happening in the world today. Thanks for posting this!

Dara said...

I don't know, they somehow found the people on college campuses who never read it! it's definitely scary!

Laura said...

It amazes me the things that aren't being taught to kids anymore. I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank in school and having to write a report about it. I've been to the museum in DC and that was a haunting experience.

Dara said...

I know, it doesn't make sense to drop that period of history from school classes! thanks for the comment.

mail4rosey said...

I knew some of the answers, about half. I'm grown so there's no excuse for me not to know more. :(


I'm visiting today from Raising Imperfection.

Dara said...

not all of them are simple! but glad you know the ones you do know!

Shoshanah G said...

I'm pretty sure it's required in 8th grade in California, since I remember watching videos then even though we were taking US History. But I also remember having it again in 9th grade in Global Studies. But even though I did have it in school, I feel like I learned more from Hebrew school, museums, or a lot of the books I've read.


Also, I have friends whose grandparents are survivors, and have been at many events where survivors have spoken. But talking to my husband, he doesn't ever remember meeting a survivor. And I think it's kind of scary to know in not that much longer, it's going to be a big deal when the last known survivor dies.

Dara said...

I guess being Jewish we are exposed to it a lot - I wonder how often those who aren't raised Jewish get taught about it, esp. when not required in school.

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