“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.

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About Elizabeth Scalia

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