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Holocaust

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Jenny
601615.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:39 am Reply with quote

Entering the mindset of the past is one of the hardest acts of historical imagination I think. For example, those of us who remember the struggle for civil rights in the USA in the sixties, or the work of the feminist movement in the 70s, are far more conscious of how hard-won those rights were than people born after that time. Similarly, those of us born in the decade after WW2 have had our minds irrevocably marked with the legacy of the Holocaust, and a far sharper awareness of the dangers of religious and racial prejudice than those who came later.

You might be interested in looking at the Beloir College Mindset List for the class of 2013 (that is people entering college now):

Quote:

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2013

Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1991.

1. For these students, Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, The Dallas Times Herald, Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead.
2. Dan Rostenkowski, Jack Kevorkian, and Mike Tyson have always been felons.
3. The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
4. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
5. Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.
6. Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
7. Earvin "Magic" Johnson has always been HIV-positive.
8. Tattoos have always been very chic and highly visible.
9. They have been preparing for the arrival of HDTV all their lives.
10. Rap music has always been main stream.
11. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.
12. Someone has always been building something taller than the Willis (née Sears) Tower in Chicago.
13. The KGB has never officially existed.
14. Text has always been hyper.
15. They never saw the “Scud Stud” (but there have always been electromagnetic stud finders.)
16. Babies have always had a Social Security Number.
17. They have never had to “shake down” an oral thermometer.
18. Bungee jumping has always been socially acceptable.
19. They have never understood the meaning of R.S.V.P.
20. American students have always lived anxiously with high-stakes educational testing.
21. Except for the present incumbent, the President has never inhaled.
22. State abbreviations in addresses have never had periods.
23. The European Union has always existed.
24. McDonald's has always been serving Happy Meals in China.
25. Condoms have always been advertised on television.
26. Cable television systems have always offered telephone service and vice versa.
27. Christopher Columbus has always been getting a bad rap.
28. The American health care system has always been in critical condition.
29. Bobby Cox has always managed the Atlanta Braves.
30. Desperate smokers have always been able to turn to Nicoderm skin patches.
31. There has always been a Cartoon Network.
32. The nation’s key economic indicator has always been the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
33. Their folks could always reach for a Zoloft.
34. They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.
35. Women have always outnumbered men in college.
36. We have always watched wars, coups, and police arrests unfold on television in real time.
37. Amateur radio operators have never needed to know Morse code.
38. Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, and Estonia have always been independent nations.
39. It's always been official: President Zachary Taylor did not die of arsenic poisoning.
40. Madonna’s perspective on Sex has always been well documented.
41. Phil Jackson has always been coaching championship basketball.
42. Ozzy Osbourne has always been coming back.
43. Kevin Costner has always been Dancing with Wolves, especially on cable.
44. There have always been flat screen televisions.
45. They have always eaten Berry Berry Kix.
46. Disney’s Fantasia has always been available on video, and It’s a Wonderful Life has always been on Moscow television.
47. Smokers have never been promoted as an economic force that deserves respect.
48. Elite American colleges have never been able to fix the price of tuition.
49. Nobody has been able to make a deposit in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
50. Everyone has always known what the evening news was before the Evening News came on.
51. Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.
52. They have never been Saved by the Bell
53. Someone has always been asking: “Was Iraq worth a war?”
54. Most communities have always had a mega-church.
55. Natalie Cole has always been singing with her father.
56. The status of gays in the military has always been a topic of political debate.
57. Elizabeth Taylor has always reeked of White Diamonds.
58. There has always been a Planet Hollywood.
59. For one reason or another, California’s future has always been in doubt.
60. Agent Starling has always feared the Silence of the Lambs.
61. “Womyn” and “waitperson” have always been in the dictionary.
62. Members of Congress have always had to keep their checkbooks balanced since the closing of the House Bank.
63. There has always been a computer in the Oval Office.
64. CDs have never been sold in cardboard packaging.
65. Avon has always been “calling” in a catalog.
66. NATO has always been looking for a role.
67. Two Koreas have always been members of the UN.
68. Official racial classifications in South Africa have always been outlawed.
69. The NBC Today Show has always been seen on weekends.
70. Vice presidents of the United States have always had real power.
71. Conflict in Northern Ireland has always been slowly winding down.
72. Migration of once independent media like radio, TV, videos and compact discs to the computer has never amazed them.
73. Nobody has ever responded to “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
74. Congress could never give itself a mid-term raise.
75. There has always been blue Jell-O.

 
exnihilo
601624.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:29 am Reply with quote

It's one of the greatest obstacles I encounter in teaching history, Jenny, students that cannot seem to imagine that things in the past were other than they are now - I've banged on about it at length on here before, so I won't repeat myself.

 
Neotenic
601627.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:38 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I won't repeat myself.


I thought that's what history was all about.

;-)

 
CB27
601690.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:06 am Reply with quote

It's scary to think that people in their 20s now, who I identify with quite readily (hanging onto my youth) cannot understand the frustration of knowing that an Apartheid Government actually exists or that despite the rhetorics of hardline leaders, many rural Arabs were very friendly and welcoming, with large thriving Jewish communities in various Middle Eastern countries - even as far as Afghanistan.

Until about 4 years ago I wasn't aware of the impact of the second Vatican and other events of the time on cultural relationships and took the view that most people in the Nazi party and beyond were simply too afraid not to follow orders, but I then read a book which contained interviews with many low ranking Nazis which were taken straight after WW2 and then 10 and 20 years later (I don't remember the name of the book, but I'll try and find out), and it was amazing to see how strong their attitudes were even 10 years later, and that 20 years later they still retained many of the same attitudes, but with a "realisation" that some of their reasons were wrong. It was interesting to see how the social culture several years after WW2 was so different that it was impacting on their attitudes, and therefore would have had even greater impact on the young generations coming up.

 
bobwilson
601915.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:05 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
If "people" (and I'd be interested to know which ones) use Holocaust to mean only the Jews, I can't think why


Ask a random selection of people what "The Holocaust" was and I am confident that the majority response will be along the lines of "extermination of the Jews". If a follow up question is offered asking if any other group was involved there'd probably be an even split between gypsies and the mentally ill with third placed runners of various identities.

Put another way, I'm confident that Holocaust is popularly equivalent to extermination of European Jewry.

Having said that, CB27 does make the point rather better and may be correct.

 

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