“What was Auschwitz?” “I don’t know…”

No rant here, just clear demonstration of our terrifying ignorance and disconnection from our recent past:

Questioner: What was the Holocaust?
American College Student: Um…I’m on the spot.

Questioner: Which country was Adolf Hitler the leader of?
American College Student: I think it’s Amsterdam?

Questioner: What was Auschwitz?
American College Student: I don’t know.

Questioner: What were the Nuremburg Trials?
American College Student: I don’t know.

Questioner: How many Jews were killed?
American College Student: Hundreds of thousands.

Q: What other groups were targeted besides Jewish people?
ACS: The African Americans? Here in the United States they used to discriminate because of skin color…

Q: Where is Normandy?
ACS: It’s over near like England and Germany and all that jazz. It’s not a peninsula, but…

Q: Where is Normandy?
ACS: It’s over by Germany. At least compared to the United States, it’s over by Germany.

Q: Who was Winston Churchill?
ACS: “He was a general, right?”

Q: What is genocide?
ACS: I don’t know.

Q: Is genocide taking place anywhere, today?
ACS: Not that I’m aware.

This is depressing on so many levels. If they are not obliged to by law, our public schools do not teach about the Holocaust, or World War II? I’d love to know if they are aware of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift? Pearl Harbor? This is pretty recent history!

Watch it to the end. The woman makes her point, very well, and with no acrimony.

YouTube Preview Image

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Art Deco

    I’m appalled by the concept that people think it’s appropriate to pass laws to specify what gets taught in history class.

    Because elected officials should not have any say over which subjects get taught in school and we just let the ‘professional’ ‘certified’ union stooges do whatever they damn please.

  • M.Mitchell Marmel

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it…”

  • Zimriel

    Those Southerners are considering the Reconstruction as a continuation of that war. And this much, the South *did* win.

  • Sammy

    I was not taught most of the subjects she asked about either but by that age I knew them already because I was well read and curious.

  • Sammy

    They do have access. They just don’t care enough to seek it out.

  • Eaton111

    Or just as some college educated Northerners think Stalin and Mao where cool dudes and if only we had the blessings of Communism.

  • ChrisSanchez

    But a majority of them are in favor of “marriage equality”… I marvel that the Dems brag that they have youth support. If popular opinion divides along age lines, who in their right mind would trust the 20 year olds more than the 60 year olds?! Only someone very foolish, or very dishonest. (In other words, they know 60 year olds are more trustworthy, but they care more about political support than about what is right…)

  • Charles Hammond Jr

    “I’m appalled by the concept that people think it’s appropriate to pass laws to specify what gets taught in history class.”

    He who controls the past controls the future.
    He who controls the present controls the past.

    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  • denroy3

    The unionized liberal socialist American education system at work….stand clear.

  • Truck Monkey

    And they all felt pretty damn good about themselves for exhibiting their dumb assery I bet. This is the end result of the therapeutic culture that we have been toying with since the 60′s.

  • Headbangerguy

    The video is very good but would be a lot better if we had some idea what percentage of those interviewed did not know about the Holocaust.

  • Susan Peterson

    All my American History classes ended before we got to WWII. But it was very recent history when I was young. My father was in the war. There were war movies on TV. I read my history textbooks to the end even though the class didn’t get there. There were innumerable war movies on TV. I read novels set during WWII, of which there are very many. I read the newspapers. I watched a show called “The 20th Century” as a child. Later on, I saw some of the “World at War” programs. As an adult I read all the books Churchill wrote about WWII.

    What appalls me is that they haven’t informed themselves. If you asked them about some other period of history, or about something scientific, they wouldn’t know much either.

  • OSW

    Yet they will all have very strong political opinions- and all vote with gusto for whomever Hollywood supports.

  • WJ Alden

    Q: ‘Which American president was responsible for sending a boatload of Jews back to a certain death in Europe?’
    A: None. The passengers of the S.S. St. Louis were all taken as refugees by various European countries. It wasn’t Roosevelt’s fault that the Third Reich eventually invaded those countries. They were still free at the time. Three-fourths of them survived the war. It was not a certain death, nor was Roosevelt to blame. There were also tens of millions of non-Jewish Europeans who died during the war.

  • Mark Dietzler

    This Westerner does. This westerner also makes no distinction between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Both were equally evil, but Soviet Russia got a pass after the war was over due to heavy Soviet influence in the American government.

  • geraldhanner

    You can thank a teacher for that. You can thank many teachers for that.

  • end of partisanship

    No more money for Penn state!

  • obamaiscarter

    But hey, I bet they know all they need to know about Transgendered Latino poets of the late 90s.

  • echo_whiskey

    It’s more of a macro-level issue. Individually it doesn’t seem that important, however, if no one, generally speaking, knows about these things then they are culturally lost along with their lessons.

  • bobbymike34

    The bigger picture is to make everyone ignorant of history in general better for the brainwashing

  • dicentra

    How many college students are studying anything beyond what is useful for a specific job/career?

    They’re not even getting that. The Universities are left-wing seminaries, and we can’t have kids learning about the rise of National SOCIALISM, can we? The might twig to what’s happening right now.

  • dicentra

    Not at the university they don’t have access. They don’t even know that the don’t know.

  • Victor Z.

    Tough to hear, Patrick. I hope things get better for you. But don’t you think you have a better understanding of why your circumstances are how they are because of your education? Won’t most people benefit from an understanding of what tragedy has gone before?

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “Questioner: What was Auschwitz?
    American College Student: I don’t know.
    Questioner: What were the Nuremburg Trials?
    American College Student: I don’t know.
    Questioner: How many Jews were killed?
    American College Student: Hundreds of thousands.
    Q: What other groups were targeted besides Jewish people?
    ACS: The African Americans? Here in the United States they used to discriminate because of skin color…”

    Donks have destroyed our universities.

  • tanarur

    The one thing that at least one of the ‘students’ seems to be sure of is that white people have discriminated against black people in America, and it is something on the same level of the Holocaust. That is the take away from the American education system of the past 30 years.

  • tanarur

    Strange that if you use the H-word in a post about the H-word, your comment requires moderation.

  • vince

    I disagree with the argument that the Holocaust or other genocides are not being taught. I am a history teacher in Virginia. The Holocaust is in our state standards. Students are tested on these standards at the end of the course and passing these standards is tied to their graduation requirements.

    Besides World War II and the Holocaust, we are expected to teach other genocides (Armenian, Cambodian, Rwandan, Bosnian, and Stalin’s genocide of the peasant class). It doesn’t shock me that students may forget what they’ve learned in High School, but you cannot make the argument that it is not being taught.

  • Rick554

    I drive over-the-road. From what I see….The South actually did win!

  • marine43 .

    Wait till common core takes root!

  • RecklessProcess

    Mary us correct. Our High schools are too busy teaching ‘self-esteem’ to bother teaching reading, writing, and history. Our colleges are merely ‘progrressive’ totalitarian indoctrination institutions that teach idiotic classes like ‘womens studies’ or “how to have great sex’ instead of studying the classics like Plato or physics. Our schools turn out idiots and pat themselves on the back for producing reliable democrat voters.

  • RecklessProcess

    I blame Dewey and the ‘progressive’ totalitarian democrats.

  • Toastrider

    Except this isn’t collegiate education. This is stuff you should be able to cover with basic high school history.

  • SemperWhy

    I grew up in Virginia and went through its history program. My history education stopped in High School at roughly 1905. I received zero formal schooling on WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Depression, the Cold War, the Space Race or anything much at all from the 20th Century. History was not part of my college track.

    I did get the American Revolution no less than three times, due to it being a key part of American History, State History and local history. And of course, three rounds through the American Civil War.

    I graduated high school in 1991. Perhaps things have changed for the better since then.


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