Historian lectures on the meaning and memory of the Holocaust

On Thursday, April 13, around 100 students and a few professors piled into the Robinson Ballroom on the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus to hear historian Jeremy Black give a lecture on the Holocaust.

Black, a professor of history at Exeter University and author of “The Holocaust: History and Memory,” sought to give the students more information about the events that led up to the Holocaust, what happened during the Holocaust, and the impact he believes the Holocaust will have on different countries’ futures.

Historian Jeremy Black lectures at the Gainesville campus. (Photo by Michael McCoy)

Historian Jeremy Black lectures at the Gainesville campus. (Photo by Michael McCoy)

Black covered events such as the Bolshevik movement, the invasion of Poland, the segregation of the Jews, the “Jewish question,” the invasion of the Soviet Union, concentration camps and extermination camps.

Many people confuse concentration camps and extermination camps, according to Black.

“The intention of concentration camps was to work the Jews to death, not kill them immediately,” Black said. “Extermination camps’ intentions were to kill the Jews immediately with a literal single shot to the head. Most of them would not live past a day in extermination camps.”

After the invasion of Poland, Black noted, Germans considered getting rid of Jewish people by sending them to a tropical island where they could be segregated.

Black also explained what happened in Germany after the Holocaust.

“After the Holocaust came to an end, it became ignored, mainly in Germany. People did not want to talk about it. Some believe that the Germans downplayed the Holocaust because it was inconvenient or embarrassing, while others believed that they did this because they just wanted to get over their past,” Black said. “Some scholars even go as far to say that Germany suffered in the Holocaust just as much as the Jews did — which is rubbish.”

Black ended his lecture by explaining to the audience what he believes will happen to the memory of the Holocaust in the future.

“Most historians do not like to think about the future. However, about 50 years from now, I believe that the Holocaust will be less salient,” Black said. “It is just not as prominent or as much a part of the history in other countries as it is in the United States and some of Europe.”

About Victoria Cochran (5 Articles)
Victoria Cochran is an English major with a Journalism minor. She is on her fourth year of college and plans on graduating in May 2018. After graduating, she would like to go into editing, but is open to a variety of different jobs that involve writing and publication.

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