Why Study The Holocaust?

Why study the holocaust? This is a question I readily hear.
Let me explain my reasons.
On the 16th November 2015 it was reported in the news that the Kurdish forces in Iraq have found a mass grave. Around 78 people who were killed for being other. In the eyes of the idiots who call themselves ISIL/ISIS these Yazidi are evil devil worshippers. How is that different to the killing of Jews and Gypsies because they are different? Also it is claimed that this mass grave is all older women with younger ones taken as sex slaves, (shadows of liebensborn?). Every woman on the planet should be outraged by this, no I’m wrong every morally thinking human should be outraged. Just think every one of those women was someone’s daughter, every one of those women was a person.
This outrage got me thinking.
Studying the Holocaust is studying the hatred of the other, of those who do not conform to how you think. Every genocide can be put down to hatred of differences. Trivial isn’t it. Just think about it really think, do you really want everyone to think, speak, dress, interpret, eat, drink, and worship the same? Personally I don’t, I think our differences are what makes the human race fascinating. Our differing cultures around the world make it possible for us all to experience a rich mental tapestry, and have a diverse mix of friends. I do see religion as a major cause of world conflict but I would never tell someone their religion would stop a friendship. Every religion has both its good and bad even my pagan path. Religious writings are not rules, they are guidelines the world has moved on and majorly changed since the Torah, Bible and Quran were written. Personally I think that by studying the holocaust we can then teach how to love the other not annihilate it.
Studying the Holocaust is examining how people come desensitised to killing, how the words Eleven Million People seem less than the figure 11,000,000 (six and 6 work the same). Every day on the news we hear about death and destruction but it is not until it really hits close to home, like with the despicable attacks in Paris on Friday 13th, the ordinary person reacts. The big difference now is how we see this death and destruction daily, whereas 75 years ago the ordinary person had to move past the death that occurred on a daily basis, the modern person just sees it on the news and goes on with their life, we all have “it doesn’t affect me personally syndrome”.
We can also learn how the killers become desensitised, how they learn to see the other as less than human. The SS murderers or the Deash terrorists seem similar in their lack of feeling towards their fellow humans. This is because they’re conditioned to seeing their victims as subhuman this we need to eradicate as there is no such thing as subhuman.
So why study the Holocaust? Because it is still relevant in today’s world. A Holocaust Remembrance day quote sums this up. If we don’t learn we can’t teach. If we don’t teach no one will learn”


courtesy of IWM/Wikipedia
courtesy of IWM/Wikipedia

Ok am in the middle of writing 4 things including a piece  on Violette Szabo (if you’ve never heard of her may I suggest the film Carve Her Name With Pride)  A piece of my rough first draft is bellow.

One day in early February 1945 three women were executed at Ravensbrück concentration camp. What makes these three stand out from most other concentration camp deaths is the fact that these women were British Secret Agents. Denise Bloch, Lillian Rolfe and, the hero of this piece, Violette Szabo had been tortured, abused and maltreated before being executed. As these women were operating in civilian clothes behind enemy lines they were not covered by the Geneva Convention.


Violette Szabo was of dual nationality her father a British WWI solider and her mother French. According to R.J. Minney’s book on Violette she was very a tomboy as a child swimming in rivers riding her bike climbing trees and hanging about with her brothers and male cousins. She evidently outstripped her older brother at most outdoor pursuits. When Violette was 14 she left school, and began working as a shop assistant. In June 1939 she had her 18th birthday and was working on a perfume counter in Brixton, no one could have dreamt what the next 5 and a half years would bring for the then Miss Bushell. Violette would join the Women’s Land Army, Work in a munitions factory, and join the ATS before being recruited by SOE in 1943. Alongside this activity her mother asked to bring home a homesick French solider from the Bastille Day parade in London (July 1940).This led her to meet Etienne Szabo a Frenchman of Hungarian descent serving  in 13eme Demi-brigade de la legion etranges (the French Foreign Legion to you and me). After a short courtship, 42 days, Violette and Etienne were married.  Etienne was posted to Africa a week after their Wedding. In the September Violette joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and was sent to serve on an Anti-Aircraft Battery, but within weeks she discovered that she was pregnant and returned to London. On the 8th June 1942 Tania Szabo was born. Just 4 months later Etienne would be killed in Africa.

And as the say saying goes to be continued…