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The importance of history in our lives cannot be overstated. From helping us to understand our identities to understanding people and societies, and the changes and transformations that have occurred in the society over the centuries, in addition to factors that triggered them and so on, the importance of history are indeed indubitable (Barton and Levstik 3).
There are many sources of history ranging from primary sources such as epigraphs, relics, etc. to secondary sources such as history textbooks, articles, encyclopedias, historical websites and so on ((Barton and Levstik 4). One such site is "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)" website (https://www.ushmm.org/) a site containing a broad range of online resources containing great information on matters pertaining history, education, research, genocides and so on. This website includes explicitly the Holocaust Encyclopedia that has an immense wealth of information regarding the events surrounding the Holocaust, what transpired during the Holocaust and so on. This paper reviews this site with a particular emphasis on its relevance on matters do with the history of the Holocaust and the events surrounding this genocide.
Several reasons guided the decision to select this site. First off, the website was chosen because it provides a thoughtful overview on the subject of the Holocaust, and yet, in such abundant detail as to educate both teachers and students on the events surrounding this catastrophe. Besides, not only does it focus on the circumstances surrounding the Holocaust but it also contains articles and other relevant resources that educate people on crucial matters related to genocide and other mass atrocities committed on civilians and ways of preventing such occurrences in the future. Additionally, the site was chosen because of it’s a reputable source of historical information; the fact that this information is scholarly. For instance, articles and publications within the website are done by accredited authors from all over the globe, with their work drawn from a wide range of both primary and secondary sources. The site is maintained and updated regularly to provide the most recent up-to-date information on the significant aspects of the Holocaust. It places the events of the Holocaust in a historical context in such a manner that is easy to read and comprehend. In a nutshell, the site qualifies for an informative historical site that is worth browsing through for anyone who desires to learn more about history.
A quick first glimpse at the home page of this website, first off, reveals a polished, visually appealing and professional site. The text font is easy to read, with meaningful graphics, quality photographs and appropriate color schemes for an attractive, intuitive design. With a menu and search bar on the left and right-hand side of the site respectively, as well as the descriptive link texts to different sections of the site placed on top of the site with some arranged on the first page, the site is easy to use and navigate through different resources. However, on a more in-depth search into the various resources on the Holocaust, one problem that one notices with the site is that it is difficult to access some of the resources swiftly due to the general organization of the site. Although having a wealth of resources is beneficial for scholarly research, the number of resources within the website could easily overwhelm someone. Nevertheless, the utility of the site cannot be discounted on such an account.
As previously noted, the USHMM website contains the holocaust encyclopedia in addition to a host of other resources on issues such as genocide and its prevention, exhibitions found within the USHMM, historical collections in the museum, publications, scholarly presentations among other academic resources. The exhibits comprise of personal stories, ancient artifacts and videos footages of the Holocaust. Within the collection are millions of films, documents, books, photos, and artifacts of the Holocaust which one can search under the search bar. Of particular interest was the holocaust encyclopedia that documents the full chronology of the Holocaust, an in-depth study on the social, political, religious, and moral issues of this massive killing of civilians as well as multiple primary photographs and maps that identify individuals, sites and events during the Holocaust (USHMM). Although the history of the circumstances surrounding the Holocaust is extensive, in a nutshell, the USHMM website noted that the Holocaust was the mass killing of six million European Jews and other targeted groups during the second world war by the German Nazi regime and its allies. The Nazis began ruling Germany in January of the year 1933. According to the Nazis, the Germans were of a superior race as compared to the Jews whose race was deemed inferior. Also, they felt that Jews threatened their racial purity. This led to a series of persecution steps starting with Jewish exclusion from the civil society, segregation of Jews into ghettoes and concentration camps for the political opponents and other non-Jewish groups deemed racially and biologically inferior into concentration camps, eventually culminating in the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” that entailed massive genocides – the Holocaust – between 1941-1945. The chronology of events surrounding these murders is well detailed in a myriad of resources found within the website. Although the immense wealth of information on the site may be somewhat overwhelming, the website is nevertheless a masterpiece of a historical source of information that is really insightful and informative for all lovers of history. This storehouse of information is not just useful but is indeed indispensable in our contemporary society.
Barton, Keith C., and Linda S. Levstik. Teaching history for the common good. Routledge, 2004.
"United States Holocaust Memorial Museum." Ushmm.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 7 Dec. 2018.
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