It would seem that almost everyone has heard of the Holocaust, the enormous tragedy in German during World War II that involved the execution of several million Jews, as well as Gypsies, homosexuals, and other alienated groups. However, when a group of school children watching the movie Schindler's List broke out into laughter, not realizing that it was based on actual events, it highlighted the fact that perhaps more education is needed. When a search on Yahoo yields computer games casually bearing the moniker "Genocide" alongside sites detailing the callous destruction of real people's lives, when people in the United States continue to perpetrate hate crimes, when people in Bosnia and Rwanda kill their neighbors over ethnic differences, it becomes apparent that the important lessons available from the Holocaust have not been learned. To insure that those Jewish people did not die in vain, we have taken it upon ourselves to illustrate through genocide man's capacity for depravity and how we must rise above it. We must also examine unresolved issues involving the conflict between retribution and exoneration for past crimes. We are all human beings -- we are all in this difficult experience together, and the sooner we realize this, the better.
This site attempts to provide a unique set of resources to complement those already available on-line. There is a strong interactive element, asking visitors to consider the moral dilemmas of Nuremberg, consider the culpability of the Swiss, or examine the future implications of the Holocaust. An interactive timeline and a brief summary go over the events themselves, linking to a multimedia glossary with pronunciations and other related audio, images, and link to sites that expand on the basic definitions. Specific aspects of the Holocaust, such as why it happened and what came in its aftermath are also covered. To bring the Holocaust to life, there are accounts of survivors and a virtual reality camp. A guide to books and other resources allow visitors to learn more and a quiz allow users to spot-check their knowledge of the Holocaust. Users can also share thoughts and scanned artwork/photos. The more that is known, the more that is understood, the better we can work to promote tolerance and learn the lessons of the past.
This site was created in the summer of 1997 as an entry in the ThinkQuest competition. We decided on the topic of the Holocaust because Jordan, being Jewish, had a personal interest and because Kushal was interested in the general phenomenon of genocide. Mike agreed it was a good idea, and we began work, attempting to establish something different from the stuff already out there. Our goal was to create something that was interactive, hence the various dicussion areas. We also wanted to create a comprehensive glossary, as well as a timeline and virtual reality camp, two other innovative ways of presenting the important information. The idea of covering the Holocaust within the context of other crimes against humanity was a new idea, as well, and we believe we did a good job covering the various issues contributing to and resulting from such a profound outpouring of hatred.
|That men do not learn very much from the lessons
of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to
|The disadvantage of men not knowing the past
is that they do now know the present. History if a hill or high point of
vantage, from which alone men see the town in which they love or the age
in which they are living.
|To be ignorant of what occurred before you were
born it to remain always a child.
|We can chart our future clearly and wisely only
when we know the path which has led to the present.
|History becomes more and more a race between
education and catastrophy.
|The only lesson history has taught is that man
has not learned anything from history.
|History repeats itself, and that's one of the
things that's wrong with history.