Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I do this...

Every so often I am asked some variation of the question about why I continue to study the Holocaust. People seem to assume because I am a member of the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre at MCHE and because I take most any class offered by MCHE that, by now, I should already know everything about the Holocaust. As anyone who studies history can tell you, you may possibly get to know the general facts but its the understanding that takes time and is never really fully nor satisfactorily achieved. In addition how can you possibly know all there is to know about an event spanning many years involving millions of people in all kinds of roles across an entire continent.

So why do I continue to study the Holocaust? The question of why is always hard to explain. It almost sounds morbid and wrong to say I like studying the Holocaust. Millions of people were involved and each one has a different experience or viewpoint. The moment you think you understand even some small part another piece is revealed. Some have been able to tell their story while others never had the chance. There is still so much more to learn about. Even in recently rereading books such as Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men, or in taking courses, I find something that helps further my knowledge and understanding.

Is it difficult sometimes to continue studying an event with such horrific consequences? Yes of course it is as you may well know. But the significance of the topic and the human stories, not just the horror but also those of hope, make it a topic that I plan on studying for years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment