The Vital Importance of Understanding European Jewish and WWII Genocide

There are many reasons to teach both children and adults about history. One of the biggest reasons is to help apply the lessons learned from history to both present-day and future decisions to ensure the right decisions are made. Of all the historical lessons learned, few could be of greater importance than learning about genocide prevention.

Historical Genocide

Over the history of humanity, one of the most egregious events caused by humans is genocide. Genocide is usually defined as the intentional mass murder of a group of people because of their race, ethnicity, culture, political affiliation, country of origin, or religion.

Genocide has occurred throughout history and was most notable during the Holocaust of World War II. Most of the mass killings were carried out on European Jewish people and Jewish sympathizers. However, Hitler furthered his genocide ideologies to other races and people he believed to be inferior.

World War Two Genocide Totals

The Holocaust was responsible for killing between 6.5 million to 7 million Jewish people and over 4.5 million other people, including Jewish sympathizers, the Soviet Union and Polish citizens and soldiers, Romani gypsies, people who were handicapped, Afro-Germanic people, and other subgroups.

While the root cause of the mass genocide in World War II was the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people, Hitler’s rage towards others he deemed to be enemies of the Germans or those who he deemed to be unclean was extensive.

Through learning more about genocide prevention, humanity can play an active role in ensuring it never occurs again. You can learn more about the Holocaust genocide at www.zachorfoundation.org.