Only a short time ago, a 2018 study revealed a startling two-thirds of American millennials surveyed could not identify what Auschwitz is. The study, released by the Washington Post and conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also found that the mere knowledge of the genocide that killed 6 million Jews during World War II, is not known among many American adults. How could this be?
“I think it's fairly well attested that knowledge of the Holocaust is dimming. A few years ago I took around 150 Muslim religious leaders and heads of state to Auschwitz to help address the ignorance about the Holocaust in the Muslim world,” explains Tudor Parfitt, Distinguished University Professor at FIU.
As part of a Monday at the Museum event series, Parfitt will be hosting distinguished author and filmmaker Christopher Hale tonight at 7 p.m. at The Jewish Museum of Florida to discuss his book Deception: How the Nazis Tricked the Last Jews of Europe.
In his book, Hale presents extraordinary evidence from the national archives of Germany, Hungary, Britain and the United States—and reveals a monstrous deception designed to outwit the leaders of the last surviving Jewish community in Europe. The deception was more complex and – from the German point of view – more successful than any single operation ever mounted by the secret services of the Allied governments.
“I have known Chris Hale for many years. His work—both his movies and books —is uniformly novel, stimulating and relentless in the pursuit of revealing what actually happened,” Parfitt says.
After the talk, guests are encouraged to peruse Auschwitz—A Place on Earth: The Auschwitz Album, a special pop-up exhibition (on display through February) presenting the only known photographs of Jews arriving at the extermination camp.
“Visitors will see a depiction of how the camp operated and the photo album on display is the only known documentation of Jews arriving at the camp. The Nazis took these photographs of their own horrific acts,” explains Susan Gladstone, executive director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.
The museum has hosted a series of compelling events, talks and symposiums this month in celebration of Florida Jewish History Month and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
“It’s the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and many of the survivors have passed away. It’s important that this history doesn’t die with the people who experienced it. As the saying goes, never forget.... In order to never forget, we have to keep telling the story to new generations,” adds Gladstone.
For more information, visit jmof.fiu.edu.