"Have We Learned the Lesson of History?"

Madeline Andrews
November 9, 2014

We are often taught in history that we must reference events from the past and use it to correct any future mistakes. But as much as we would like to think that we have learned this lesson and taken it to heart, have we as a society really embraced its true meaning? History has taught us the terrifying horrors of our past actions; death, violence, oppression and neglect. It would seem that these events would have made us realize that now more than ever, our ways need to be changed, but it seems as if these topics are all too well known.

The Holocaust during World War II is considered to be one of the most devastating events of the last century; the mass murdering of an entire religion solely out of pure hatred, proving that there should in fact, be a dominate race of people. When we think of the Holocaust in this sense, it feels as if this would be something that stands far behind us in history, something that would never happen in this day and age. While it may not be to the extreme extent of the events of the Holocaust during times of war, today we face our own modern "holocaust" of hatred; treating others of different races and religion with disrespect and disgust, thrusting hatred upon them with no shame or mercy.

Since the events of 11 September 2001, it seems as if the entire Muslim race has become a scapegoat for the acts of terrorism seen throughout the world. Innocent men, woman, and children who are in no way connected to any violence are now blamed for a plethora of problems. People of the Muslim faith are treated with such disrespect and hate even when they have done nothing wrong, because they are not "the average American." But this problem does not just affect Muslims; this is a topic that applies to just about everyone who is not Caucasian. On the news, we hear about careless acts of violence against ethnic communities, racist comments and remarks about other ethnicities, bombings of innocent countries, and an overall hatred towards others white Americans find different from them.

Many would think that we would learn from the mistakes that history has taught us, to love and accept other for whom they are, that we must teach each generation from the lessons of the last to keep improving upon our ever-growing society. But how can we move forward if we are stuck on the petty hatreds of the past? It is up to each and every one of us to learn and grow from history's mistakes and create a better world for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Works Consulted

    Koenig, Wendy, and Nancy Rupprecht. The Holocaust And World War II : In History And In Memory. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Pub, 2012. Discovery eBooks. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.

    Kivimäki, Ville. "Between Defeat And Victory: Finnish Memory Culture Of The Second World War." Scandinavian Journal Of History 37.4 (2012): 482-504. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.

    deMause, Lloyd. "The Childhood Origins Of World War II And The Holocaust." Journal of Psychohistory 36.1 (2008): 2-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.