Sheldon Kirshner
Sheldon Kirshner

There Are No ‘Opposing’ Views Of The Holocaust

The executive director for curriculum and instruction in a Texas school district recently caused a needless, harmful and anguished commotion when she instructed teachers to offer “opposing” views of the Holocaust in accordance with a new state law.

Gina Peddy, the administrator in question, was recorded telling teachers in the Carroll Independent School District that a bill signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott required them to present “diverse and contending perspectives” on controversial issues. Consequently, she reasoned incorrectly, they would have to provide “opposing” and “other perspectives” on the Holocaust.

Peddy issued this incredibly destructive directive because the law prohibits educators from discussing controversial historical, social or political issues. If they do come up for discussion, teachers are mandated to “explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

To no one’s surprise, Peddy’s directive sparked an uproar. Unless you’re a Holocaust denier, there is assuredly only one side to the Holocaust.

Peddy herself admitted she was uncomfortable with her misguided directive. Teachers in her district charitably described it as “a misstep.”

In fact, it was an egregious mistake, a horrible lapse in judgment.

Thankfully, Peddy’s boss, district superintendent Lane Ledbetter, apologized, saying her comments were not meant to convey the impression that the Holocaust was “anything less than a terrible event in history.”

He added, “We recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust. The state law doesn’t require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts.”

This was an important and much-needed clarification.

The Holocaust is not a figment of anyone’s imagination, having been documented by the perpetrators themselves and survivors and witnesses. Reputable historians have written an avalanche of monographs, article and books about it.

It is crystal clear that the Holocaust was conceived and implemented by the Nazi regime in Germany and aided and abetted by collaborationist regimes in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, France and Italy. It is abundantly clear that the Nazis starved Jews to death in ghettos, shot them in killing fields, and murdered them on an industrial scale in extermination camps such as Treblinka and Sobibor.

So there are simply not “opposing” perspectives of the Holocaust, and never will be if honesty and decency prevail. Anyone who denies that the Holocaust took place or minimizes its magnitude is hostile toward Jews. Regrettably, there are no shortage of deniers who peddle this excrement.

Obviously, there is no place whatsoever for such filth in American schools. As Peddy presumably now recognizes, she stumbled very badly when she grossly misinterpreted the law passed by Texas and inadvertently gave Holocaust deniers a short-lived victory.

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal, SheldonKirshner.com
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