The Pain of Knowledge: Holocaust and Genocide Issues in Education

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Violation of the rights of a human being and indifference in the face of suffering jeopardize the very existence of human society. The Holocaust is the most extreme example of such violations, and the greatest moral failure mankind has experienced. Confronting the Holocaust, as well as genocide, may contribute to understanding the importance of humanistic and democratic values, and help construct tools for making moral judgments. That is why courses on the study of genocide and the Holocaust have become part of ...

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Overview

Violation of the rights of a human being and indifference in the face of suffering jeopardize the very existence of human society. The Holocaust is the most extreme example of such violations, and the greatest moral failure mankind has experienced. Confronting the Holocaust, as well as genocide, may contribute to understanding the importance of humanistic and democratic values, and help construct tools for making moral judgments. That is why courses on the study of genocide and the Holocaust have become part of the curricula of educational institutions in the United States and elsewhere. This book asks how the moral messages of the Holocaust and genocide can best be transmitted. The Pain of Knowledge deals not with historical events, but with possible ways of learning about these events and their significance. It attempts to examine and deal critically with some of the profound dilemmas at the core of Holocaust and genocide issues in education. The underlying purpose of this book is to expose the reader to sometimes antithetical, and at other times complementary, views concerning the teaching of these subjects, both in Israel and elsewhere in the world. This book will contribute to the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide, and encourage readers to examine these issues from a broad perspective. Among the subjects dealt with in The Pain of Knowledge are: how societies crystallize their collective memories; historical processes and changes in the teaching of the Holocaust in Israel during different periods of time; commemoration of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day; journeys of Israeli youth to sites connected with the Holocaust in Poland; attitudes of Israeli adolescents toward the Holocaust; attitudes of Israeli Arabs toward the Holocaust; general world attitudes toward the Holocaust; teaching of the Holocaust throughout the world; and teaching of genocide in Israel and elsewhere. Yair Auron is senior lecturer at The Open University of Israel and the Kibbutzim College of Education. He is the author of numerous articles and books on genocide and on contemporary Judaism, including Jewish-Israeli Identity and We Are All German Jews: Jewish Radicals in France During the Sixties and Seventies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Pain of Knowledge deals with a subject of supreme importance. Auron writes that what happened to 'us' is supplemented, not contradicted, by what happened to 'others.' This sort of merging will add moral significance and universal strength to the memory of the Holocaust and to our justified demand that the world never forget."- Yossi Sarid, former education minister of Israel, Ha'aretz "Auron clearly demonstrates that the exclusion of [genocides that did not involve Jews] from the [Israeli] school curriculum is not unintentional: addressing the genocide of other nations necessarily raises questions concerning attitudes towards minorities in Israel, both past and present, and as such, may be threatening. Threatening, but in Auron's eyes imperative: we must study the atrocities perpetrated against other peoples, not only in order to gain a better understanding of the world around us, but first and foremost in order to accord fun significance to the Holocaust itself." -Amnon Yuval, Ma'ariv "Auron's highly interesting book, dealing with issues of Holocaust and Genocide in education, is very important. This is by no means a history book only, nor a book on education. It is rather a study which examines philosophical and moral issues and does so with great depth and sensitivity." -Salam Jubran, Elhali "An excellent contribution to what is becoming a significant body of literature in Holocaust and genocide studies. It is recommended for general insights it provides, as well as for the contribution it makes to pedagogy [] should be required reading for all who have the vital human duty to teach about the pain of the ages, whether that is defined as Holocaust or as genocide."—Paul R. Bartrop, Bialik College and Deakin University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765802767
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/9/2005
  • Pages: 187
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Yair Auron is professor at the Open University of Israel. He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in Jewish Political Studies Review, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Contemporary Jewry. In addition he is the author of many books on genocide and contemporary Judaism, including A Perfect Injustice: Genocide and Theft of Armenian Wealth, The Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide, and The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide.

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Table of Contents

1 On the construction of memory 1
2 Philosophical reflections on the Holocaust 7
3 Constructing the memory of the Holocaust in Israel 13
4 The teaching of the Holocaust in Israel : historical processes 31
5 On teaching the Holocaust : didactic aspects 41
6 Learning programs in Israel 51
7 Holocaust martyrs' and heroes' remembrance day 59
8 Journeys of youth to Poland 65
9 About the attitudes of Israeli adolescents towards the Holocaust 73
10 About the attitudes of Israeli Arabs towards the Holocaust 79
11 To remember or to forget? 85
12 On the teaching of the Holocaust around the world 91
13 On the teaching of genocide 153
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