As a moral-based society, we are obligated to remember events in history when there have been acts of cruelty and injustice, just as we observe times of prosper and success. The Holocaust was one of the most brutal acts of genocide in history, and should be remembered to pay respect to the millions of people who were killed during this severely prejudiced time period in Europe. Throughout our history, we have celebrated the actions of those we consider to be heroes, and we remember those who were victims of harsh times and were condemned in one way or another. An example of such remembered heroes are the African Americans that have made achievements which in effect have contributed to society. We pay tribute to these people during February, which has been designated as Black History Month. On the other hand, also remember the terrible experiences endured by African Americans in the United States during the age of slavery in America. Society makes a special point to make sure that these events in time are not forgotten once they are part of our history, due to the many people they touched or effected. People have the desire, and feel indebted to give credit to those who helped mankind, and to those who where the victims of disaster or injustice. The Holocaust fits into the “profile” of such inequity. I feel that the our world as a whole should remember what took place, to pay respect to the victims, and to make it known that such behavior is wrong. The Holocaust was one of the worst acts of cruelty against mankind that has taken place in world history, and should never be forgotten.
Black History Month is an example of an event that celebrates the good in our society. “In 1915, Carter G. Woodson, a historian keenly interested in education, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It was through this organization that he began pressing for a ‘Negro History Week’ as a mechanism for exploring the contributions of Black Americans”(Boateng). Black History Month commemorates the achievements of African Americans. February “is significant and recognized in African American history for the birthdays of great African American pioneers and institutions. These include the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Eubie Blake, NAACP and the first Pan African Congress”(Boateng). Our society, as well as the world would like to remember what contributions African Americans have made to create a better well-being or many people. Black Inventors alone have changed the way that we live. “We can hardly get through the day without taking advantage of the creative genius of black inventors”(Aaseng). Without celebrating these people, we would be denying them the credit that they deserve, in return for helping mankind. Black History Month allows us to do such a thing, because otherwise without such an observance, “most Americans would be hard-pressed to come up with a single important black figure”(Aaseng).
The cruelty that was experienced by slaves in the early history of the United States is an event that is strongly remembered today by many people in society. While there is no designated holiday or day of remembrance for this, many people take it upon themselves to make sure that it is not overlooked. When slaves where disobedient, they were treated cruelly, and usually their punishment entailed some sort of physical discipline. From the documentation of one situation, it recalls that, “Other and worse humiliations followed when Thomas discovered that Ibrahima refused to enter the fields”(Wyatt-Brown). Treatment of slaves in some cases was so bad that it forced them to turn to an unthinkable choice, running away from their master. “After one of several whippings, Ibrahima ran off to the woods after dark. Like most runaways, whether African or Creole, he probably did not stray too far from the five-acre clearing that the Fosters had made. Weeks passed and Ibrahima realized the hopelessness of his situation. Since suicide was a serious violation of the Qur'an, he had to assume that Allah had intended his predicament” (Wyatt-Brown). Slaves were made to change their ideas of self worth and of their own true identity that they knew from Africa, or wherever they were captured from. They where forced to recreate their own self-image. “ In Ibrahima's eyes, he, a Fulani warrior, had sunk to the level of a Pullo youngster”(Wyatt-Brown). “For Ibrahima the act of subjection was the beginning of unlearning his old self and teaching himself to present a new face of conformity”(Wyatt-Brown). The period of time in which slavery did exist in the United States was an age that still troubles many even today. For this reason, it has been remembered as a very important part of our nations development.
The Holocaust is an example of an event that society remembers just as it does the hardships endured in slavery. The attempted genocide of some 6 million Jews is appalling, and continues to shock people even to this day. This was the most horrific example of mankind’s brutality towards itself in world history. “The Holocaust is of the utmost importance for historians, philosophers, psychologists, and for the modern world”(Breitman 3). It’s important to these types of people because it let’s them learn about society’s weaknesses and what kind of mind is capable of manipulating so many others into thinking that something is right. Not only that, but as a moral-based society we must show that we believe what happened was wrong by paying tribute to those who were victims. Our nation, as well as many other’s in the world, have made sure that the holocaust will not be forgotten. Various monuments have been erected, and the number of different Holocaust museums is very great. Many people have yet to learn why we should observe this grim reminder of the hate that lies in our society. Some do not understand what actually happened. “Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich exploited all the ingenious advantages of modern technology to transport Jews from most parts of Europe to various killing sites, including specially constructed extermination camps, where they were executed in gas chambers as quickly, smoothly, and quietly as possible”(Breitman 3) People that felt the prejudice of the Holocaust were humiliated, dehumanized, and were not given the proper necessities of life, including shelter, food, and proper care.
The Holocaust should be considered an important event to remember in our world’s history. It holds the same amount of importance, if not more, of teaching society a lesson, and of remembering those who were the victims of such a tragedy. Slavery and Black History Month are also very important times which are observed because they show the achievements and the struggles of a minority group within society. It is the tradition of the society we live in to celebrate such achievements and to remember such hardships that certain groups of people have experienced. The Holocaust is undisputedly an atrocity that instead of forgetting, should instead be studied and remembered to make sure that the spirits and the memories of those who were forced to go through such affliction will never fade away.
Aaseng, Nathan. American Profiles: Black Inventors. Facts on File, Inc: New York.
Copyright 1997.Boteng, Yaw. February os Black History Month.
http://www.dal.ca/~acswww/grifibhm.htmlBreitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. Alfred A
Knopf: New York. Copyright 1991.Wyatt-Brown, Bertran. The Mask of Obedience: Slave Psychology in the Old South.
Davis, David Brion. Slavery and Human Progress. Oxford University Press: New York.