To the editor of THE EAGLE:
What was the Holocaust? If you are to ask some of the professors at Berkshire Community College that question their response apparently is that it’s too complicated for their students.
My husband and I enjoyed a pleasant day in North Adams at the ArtsWalk Thursday. Following the "green footsteps" brought us right by the Holocaust Museum of artifacts that Darryl English has been collecting for decades. We were amongst several people availing ourselves of the vast knowledge that Mr. English has researched that accompanies his collection.
In conversation, when I suggested that this macabre exhibit and his knowledge be included in schools he told us of his recent disappointing experience with Berkshire Community College. According to Mr. English two professors spent about an hour looking and listening. When Mr. English offered to bring his collection and knowledge to the college he told us that the response was "this is too complicated for our students." Mr. English told us of a study at the University of Pennsylvania in which a woman randomly asked students "What was the Holocaust?" The responses of blank stares and lack of knowledge that greeted her is shameful.
Many years ago my father, a decorated World War II veteran, brought me to the home of a Holocaust survivor. This meticulously groomed, diminutive woman showed me the numbers tattooed on her arm and instructed me to make sure that this atrocity is never repeated. If college professors and school teachers refuse to inform their students of this horrible era in time then how do we ensure that history will not repeat itself.
I have been a student at Berkshire Community College and I assure you that the question of "What was the Holocaust" is not too complicated for me. The professors I had at Berkshire Community College were excellent. They encouraged me to learn, and thankfully, never felt the need to dumb things down for my fellow students or me.
I would encourage the powers that be at Berkshire Community College to give their students the benefit of the doubt and believe that their students are capable of grasping the concept of "What is the Holocaust?"
MYLA JILL BLUM