History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs (Google definitions). Every child from K-12 learn about history in school. Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson, through my interpretation, seem to believe that history is only created through governments and historians but that it should not be learned solely through those views. History can not truly be told one sided though. For all we know, we could only be learning once side to a story; most likely we are. Because we live in America we only learn the American view to history. We learn American accomplishments and this and that. There are many different forms of history because I’m sure each country has a different view on everything. We can learn a lot about history through text books and what teachers teach us in class but the best form of learning history is through experience. Since obviously we can not experience events like World War One or World War Two or the Great Depression, we must learn through someone else experience. It is the best way to connect to that time period of when it actually happened.
In high school, my senior year, I took a Holocaust and Genocide class that was being offered by a professor at Stockton University at my high school. To this day he is still the best teacher I have ever had because he never taught anything one sided. He never generalized an experience or event. He always gave us opportunity to hear a survivor of the Holocaust’s story. We heard from multiple people to get multiple views on the past. Each and every person went through the same event yet came out with a different experience, lost different amount of family members, or was sent to different places. Not one story was the same as anothers. This is real live history. Being able to hear how individuals experience the past is the best way to connect to it.
I remember a field trip we went on to a lunch with survivors and each person in the class got to each lunch with a different survivor. Throughout the duration of the lunch, the woman I sat next to, Rosalie, told me all about her life. She spoke about her life growing up in Czechoslovakia, her experience throughout her unfortunate stay the the many camps she was sent to and how she survived the Holocaust. I
remember as she got emotional about talking about her deceased family members
and how they died, I cried with her. Now I realize, in that moment with Rosalie, that is what history really is. There is only so much a single book can tell you about an overall subject but it generalizes it and takes away the parts that make it relatable, interesting and personable. Many people have learned about the Holocaust but I do not think it is truly possible to learn any type of past event without listening to an individuals account of what happened to them during that time.
Rosalie has written a memoir of her life called Girl in a Striped Dress. If you’d like to check it out the link below will lead you to a summery of her book and where you can find it.http://www.comteqpublishing.com/book_detail.php?129