This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
Rhonda Fink-Whitman is more into showing than telling. Outraged that there is currently no mandate in Pennsylvania for public schools to teach about the Holocaust and genocide, she could have written letters to her elected officials, or maybe tried to speak with them at their offices. But she decided instead to make a video, and let it do the talking in her bid to convince state lawmakers to pass a Holocaust and Genocide Education Bill introduced in 2012 by Representative Brendan Boyle.
Fink-Whitman is hopeful that the politicians will realize that the proposed mandate is the answer, especially when they see how college students can’t respond correctly (if at all) to basic Holocaust-related history questions posed to them in the video.
She stopped students randomly (but only interviewed those who said they had gone to Pennsylvania public schools) on the campuses of Temple University, Drexel University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania. She asked them questions like, “What was the Holocaust?” “Where did the Holocaust happen?” “Which country was Adolf Hitler the leader of?” “When did WWII take place?” “What was Auschwitz?” “How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust” and “What is genocide?”
The most common answer from the young people? — “I don’t know.”
Click here to read more and watch the video.
© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.