December 7, 2016 – The 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

        Though my blogs and my interest center on the Holocaust and the European experience of Nazi dominance in the 1930s and 40s, I never forget that action in the Pacific was crucial to World War II.
       The “War in the Pacific” began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an event that killed and wounded thousands of Americans in one terrible day 75 years ago.  It took the events at Pearl Harbor to finally push the United States into World War II — the war we all hoped would protect and preserve world-wide freedom and democracy.
        Recent events have reminded us how fragile these freedoms can be.  Out of respect for and gratitude to the veterans of World War II, those who fought and died to preserve personal freedom for generations to come, we need to remember how easily these freedoms can die under a dictator. We must not forget the lessons of the past.
       I am a great believer that the future of this nation depends on the education of our youth. I encourage all teachers and parents to teach our children what can happen when governments take away the rights and freedoms of their citizens because of race or ethnicity.  Books on the US government internment of Japanese-American citizens after Pearl Harbor, the terror of the Holocaust perpetrated by the German Third Reich against Jews, Gypsies, gays, and others , and the Turkish government’s Armenian Genocide (1915 to 1920) are readily available in literature appropriate for children and young adults.   These government mandated acts of racial profiling, segregation, prejudice, and murder resulted in some of the darkest moments in human history. Our youth needs to know about these events and the suffering they caused so that they know the importance of standing united against their recurrence.  This message is especially important in today’s emerging climate of hate and distrust of immigrants and refugees.
To find books for children and young adults about genocide and racism, I recommend the following:
My blog, Beyond Ann Frank, Holocaust Books for Youth and Teens, posted June 12, 2015,
Article in Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2016, Timely Stories of Upheaval for Youths, by Amy E. Robertson.
Armenian Genocide Resource Library for (Secondary School) Teachers,
An Armenian Genocide education site.  Scroll down to find a listing of fiction that deals with the Armenian Genocide and includes grade level recommendations.


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