NEW YORK (Jun. 24)
Not a single textbook in current use by high schools in the United States adequately covers the subject of the Nazi Holocaust, according to a report released by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, which sponsored on ” analytical examination ” of 43 such texts.
“The failure is quantitative as well as qualitative.” said Theodore Freedman, ADL’s program director, in presenting the study to the ADL’s 66 the National Commission meeting here. The study was conducted during the past year by Glers. Pate, an assistant professor in the Department of Secondary Education at the University of Arizona.
Pointing out that even the five books with the most extensive coverage on the subject were found wanting, Freedman declared that “this woeful deficiency spurs us to raise serious questions about the kind of education our children are receiving.”
He went on to say that “even among these five-the best of the lot-none deals satisfactorily with the causes of the Holocaust or the role of the United States none has suggested reading for students, only one refers to resistance; (one uses the term, genocide and one the term, Holocaust); three do not mention the Nuremberg trials, and none refers to the survivors.”
The study by pate was mode under the auspices of ADL’s Center for Studies on the Holocaust. Pate examined the texts exhaustively to determine objectively the extent and content of their treatment of the Holocaust. He said that “authors and textbook companies have not seen the Holocaust as relevant to American history or contemporary society.”
Disagreeing with this attitude, he declared. “We need to learn the lessons of the Holocaust not only to improve our society today, but to safeguard the future. Some of the lessons of the Holocaust could help us recognize the harbingers of tragedy. To continue to ignore, or gloss over, this painful period of history is not only unwise, it is dangerous. It did happen; it must not happen again.”