Why Should I Care is a wonderful resource for a school library or teaching aid for an instructor teaching children ages 10 and older about the Holocaust. As its title suggests, it tackles difficult subjects like the banal ity of evil, the danger of words, the choices people make, their failure to take responsibility for those choices, and the lure of the dark side. Friedman and Gold use examples from the Holocaust throughout the book, citing individuals who made a difference and the experiences of Jews who survived. But they also discuss other genocides in recent history, drawing parallels to illustrate the fact that others have engaged in mass murder even in our lifetimes. They do this to show that evil and murder can occur even in communities that consider themselves educated and enlightened. Friedman and Gold go on to suggest ways in which readers can make a difference, politically, and socially — by educating themselves on what is really going on and not accepting the versions of the mass media without questioning, by using their power to vote and by exercising choice. “We are the public,” the authors write. “By working together we can create a powerful force. We can use that power to control what our leaders do.” The book is peppered with relevant quotations from other authors, writers, and thinkers, but one by Yehuda Bauer stands out as the raison d’etre for the creation of Why Should I Care. “Events happen because they are possible,” Bauer writes. “If they were possible once, they are possible again. In that sense, the Holocaust is not unique, but a warning for the future.” Friedman and Gold take that warning seriously, and have written Why Should I Care to inform students exactly why this subject is extremely relevant to them and how the warnings of the Holocaust can effect their lives and their perspectives even today. This is a highly recommended resource for teachers of the subject and all libraries.
Lauren Kramer is a Vancouver-based journalist, wife, and mother with a lifelong passion for literature. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she has won awards for her writing and reported from many corners of the world. Read more of her work at www.laurenkramer.net.