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From: Kuehn, John Dr CIV USA TRADOC <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: WWII and the Holocaust Teaching in Middle School (UNCLASSIFIED) Date: March 1, 2010 11:09:48 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> 1st Reply A report from the field. My 17 year old went to one of these High School Knowledge Bowl events where they compete with other student teams from our district in North Kansas City. We talked about the questions and it turns out that an entire are of the competition addressed Genocide (about 20 percent). They covered the WWII Holocaust (most questions), Stalin Holocausts (mostly the Ukrainian population), Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea (where evidently the right answer implied that the Vietnam invasion caused the genocide?) And they also had a questions on Armenia and Guatemala. Just a report from the field. My son has a pretty good memory. Vr, John John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Military History Curriculum Developer Department of Military History U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, KS "Present preparedness must not be sacrificed to an illusory future readiness. National emergencies cannot be foreseen and must be met by existing forces." The General Board of the Navy, January 1933 2nd Reply I don't believe you can teach World War II in Europe without mentioning the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany. As preperation for my undergraduate class on the war, I read Mein Kampf, and was struck by its assault on the Jews as a fundamental belief. More than nationalism, it spoke to what Hitler felt was the basic problem of Germany, and hence the fundamental issue his party would have to deal with: the presence of a foreign illness in Germany. While the Final Solution, of course, is not discussed, the emphasis is clear. Robert Slayton Chapman University -----Original Message----- From: H-NET Military History Discussion List [mailto:H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On Behalf Of H-War Editor David Silbey Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 9:41 AM To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: REPLY: WWII and the Holocaust Teaching in Middle School (4 Responses) From: "John Paul Jones" <email@example.com>, Brandon Hone <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Megargee, Geoffrey" <GMegargee@ushmm.org> Date: Monday, March 1, 2010 10:36:40 AM Subject: WWII and the Holocaust Teaching in Middle School 1. "John Paul Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 2. Brandon Hone <email@example.com> 3. firstname.lastname@example.org 4. "Megargee, Geoffrey" <GMegargee@ushmm.org> -----Message from: "John Paul Jones" <email@example.com>----- Should you not mention the Eastern Front because no U.S. ground forces were involved there? Of course you should mention the Holocaust, it was in part the rationale for Hilter's expansion, it certainly impeded his war-effort by consuming valuable resources, and how one can ingore over 6 million humans being killed during WWII as part of an event is beyond me. My uncle was in a recon unit that liberated Dachau and he certainly remembered it...though I'm sure he would have liked to forget. Sincerely, John Paul Jones "John Paul Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: Brandon Hone <email@example.com>----- I do not see how you could separate the two. The Holocaust was integral to WWII and to avoid mention of it would be like avoiding mention of the slavery issue when dealing with the Civil War. Just a quick thought, just think how many resources the Nazis tied up with the concentration camp system that could have been used to aid the fighting at the front. How many trains did they have diverted to shuttling prisoners to places like Auschwitz instead of troops and supplies to the Eastern Front? Also, what about the reactions of troops to what they saw at places like Buchenwald? Just because you can't do something in depth does not mean you shouldn't at least mention it, especially something as integral to the conduct of military operations, the social and political history of the war. I felt bad today that for my freshman US History survey class, I covered the entire Civil War in one 50 minute lecture (this in combination with one lecture about the path to war and the next lecture about reconstruction). I would love to spend more time covering the war, but the realities are that I have to get through the entirety of American History in 15 weeks of three lectures a week minus holidays and test days (comes out to 35 lectures total for the semester). I have to pick what I think is important because in order to cover the required material. You certainly can't and shouldn't ignore the Holocaust, it is integral to understanding the war. To cover nothing but the Holocaust on the other hand would serve the same purpose, the two did not happen separately and were influenced by each other. Brandon Hone History Graduate Student Utah State University Brandon Hone <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----Message from: email@example.com----- Since Jason McDonald asked for opinions, we all get to offer ours. First, I think it's an excellent idea to teach WW2 in Middle School, as best it can be done, which will necessarily be only in a limited fashion. The incredible panorama of events from 1939 to 1945 can never be covered in any reasonable level of detail in less than several semesters of intensive courses, perhaps one course for each of the years of its conduct. The myriad interesting details, from the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands to the scuttling of the German heavy water project in Norway, are far too many to even think of trying to cover in such a presentation. But it is a key piece of history, and giving young students any kind of feel for how it began and the stages of its conduct year by year, is extremely worthwhile. The Holocaust is in a way, not part of the history of how the war was conducted, yet it is one of the key events of the war. So might be the brutality of the Japanese Imperial Army in China, the Phillippines, and everywhere else. It is a subject of particular sensitivity, in part because of those who have attempted to minimize or even deny it. On the one hand, it could very reasonably be made the subject of one presentation, but that may still not satisfy critics. On the other hand, to not mention it will also bring down criticism. It is perhaps a no-win situation. Personally, I think it's important enough to be made the subject of a presentation. Commemorating Holocaust events is, to my mind, a different subject. Again, you cannot satisfy everyone about that. I'd stick with the single session suggested above. R J Del Vecchio firstname.lastname@example.org -----Message from: "Megargee, Geoffrey" <GMegargee@ushmm.org>----- I believe you should absolutely include the Holocaust, even if it's only a mention. First, mentioning it there does not prevent anyone from creating a separate, more extensive program about it. Second, it was central to the European theater; it formed a core part of German war aims and strategy. One cannot understand German motives without it. If you want additional material, I would recommend you visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website at www.ushmm.org Yours, Geoff Megargee "Megargee, Geoffrey" <GMegargee@ushmm.org> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----