House Engrossed





State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session











expressing support for holocaust education in arizona's schools.





Whereas, the Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jews and other groups deemed "undesirable" by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Under this system, six million Jews, as well as Roma (Gypsies), Poles and people with disabilities, were targeted for destruction or decimation solely for racial, ethnic or national reasons.  Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war and other political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny; and

Whereas, during the year leading up to World War II, parents from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland put their children on trains to the United Kingdom to ensure their escape and survival from the increasing Nazi violence.  The children of this organized rescue mission, called the Kindertransport, represented some of the youngest Holocaust survivors and most of them were never reunited with their parents; and

Whereas, the number of living Holocaust survivors, as well as their children and liberators, is rapidly diminishing, and this loss of live testimonies increases the likelihood that the historical significance of the Holocaust and its relevance to more recent genocidal conflicts will continue to diminish over time; and

Whereas, Holocaust knowledge in the United States is significantly lacking, especially among younger generations, as nearly 22 percent of millennials have not heard of the Holocaust and only about 50 percent identify it as an attempted extermination of the Jewish people; and

Whereas, the study of the Holocaust offers an opportunity to reflect on and teach about the moral responsibilities of individuals, societies and governments; and

Whereas, nearly 58 percent of Americans believe something like the Holocaust could happen again; and

Whereas, comprehensive education about the Holocaust and other genocides is vital to preserving history and the voices of those affected and to deterring such devastating events from being repeated; and

Whereas, an abundance of local resources exists for educators and communities to engage in Holocaust remembrance and educational events, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's special programs, exhibits and biannual trainings for teachers and the Bureau of Jewish Education's annual Educators' Conference on the Holocaust; and

Whereas, Arizona is home to the nation's largest annual educational event about genocide, Genocide Awareness Week, which is hosted by Scottsdale Community College.  This event presents an occasion for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather, discuss and learn about the Holocaust and other genocides; and

Whereas, the Holocaust is not currently a required topic in Arizona's academic standards and is therefore not required to be taught in the state's schools.  The State of Arizona, however, has numerous resources to ensure that students can be exposed to this important part of history, including the Anti-Defamation League's Echoes and Reflections teacher lessons and trainings and the Phoenix Holocaust Association's Speakers Bureau, which facilitates speaking engagements by survivors, their families and liberators at Arizona schools.


Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:

That the Members of the Legislature express support for educating citizens, particularly this state's schoolchildren in grades eight through twelve, on the Holocaust and other genocides and for ensuring that all educators are knowledgeable and trained on the subject.