Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote, "The new generation has to hear what the older generation refuses to tell it."
Wiesenthal, who died in September 2005, devoted his life to documenting the crimes of the Holocaust and to hunting down the perpetrators still at large. His work stands as a reminder and a warning. It is important for current and future generations to learn from the past in order to preserve the future.
Racism and intolerance have been part of the world since its beginnings. From genocides to apartheid and caste systems, the idea of one group of people being superior to another based on race, economics, gender, sexuality, religion or disabilities has continued to thrive. Read through the pages of the Tampa Bay Times on any given day and examples of people’s intolerance and prejudices about others jump out of the pages.
How can we change the present and future? The answer is by remembering the past and seeking to make a difference. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
Resources to explore:
- International Day for Tolerance
- Rachel's Challenge
- Teaching Tolerance
- Facing History and Ourselves
- Trevor Project
- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ABC: Teaching Human Rights - Practical activities for primary and secondary schools.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice.