Through the study of the Holocaust, ideally people should:
a) Understand the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping in any society. It helps students become aware of the value of pluralism, and encourages them to be tolerant of diversity.
b) Explore the dangers of remaining silent, apathetic, and indifferent in the face of others' oppression.
c) Understand how a modern nation can utilize its technological expertise and bureaucratic infrastructure to implement destructive policies ranging from social engineering to genocide.
d) Think about the use and abuse of power, and the role and responsibilities of individuals, organizations and nations when confronted with civil rights violations and/or policies of genocide.
e) Identify the danger signals warning of another Holocaust-like event.
f) Understand that democratic institutions and values need to be nurtured and protected. They are not automatically sustained.
g) Understand that the Holocaust occurred because individuals, organizations and governments made choices which legalized discrimination and allowed prejudice, hatred and ultimately mass murder to happen. The Holocaust was not an accident.
h) Understand that the Holocaust was a watershed event, not only in the 20th century but in the entire history of humanity.
(Adapted from the "Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust", The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington.)
The main priorities with regard to the Holocaust are to:
i) Educate the younger generation about the Holocaust, according to the spirit of the Jewish tradition, "vehigadeta lebincha" ("and you will tell your children"), ie. to provide Jewish youngsters with the history of the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective.
j) Encourage non-Jews to empathize with the fate of the Jewish people, and to inspire them to join the drive to a more humane future for humanity as a whole.
(Adapted from "A Message from the Chairperson, Avner Shalev", Yad Vashem.)
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