This week Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill adding genocide instruction to social studies curriculum in eighth grade through high school.
Most people are aware of the Holocaust, in which Germans murdered millions of people during World War II.
A lot of instruction around that event concentrates on the death camps, some of which had gas chambers where Jews and others were killed.
But gas was not the only tool the Germans used. There was also a holocaust by bullets.
Marco Gonzales is the Director of Yahad-In Unum, an organization that has been researching the German march to the Soviet Union and the systematic mass execution of Jews and Roma as the army marched east.
“For more than 12 years we’ve been going into the field – village by village – to look for witnesses, those who were children, those who were teenagers and who saw what happened with the Jews and the Roma in all these villages,” Gonzales said. “All of the Jews and Roma population were systematically killed in these small villages.”
Gonzales said the exhibit will showcase the five steps Germans on this march undertook as they murdered Jews in Eastern European villages. Unlike the Holocaust by gas chambers, these killings by bullets were done in public.
“Many times we’ve thought that the Holocaust was secret, but in fact all the local people – all the people in the village – they saw the killings and the process of the killings of the Jews and Roma,” Gonzales said.
Learn more about this “hidden Holocaust,” and the exhibit dedicated to it, in the interview above.
Marco Gonzales, director of Yahad-In Unum