By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A Bucks County woman, whose first book is inspired by her mother’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor, is pushing Pennsylvania to pass legislation mandating Holocaust education in schools.
House Bill 176 would require Pennsylvania public and private schools to provide education on the Holocaust and other genocides for students in grades six through twelve. Standing behind that measure is Bensalem resident Rhonda Fink-Whitman, who wrote 94 Maidens, a compelling novel based on true events inspired by her mother.
She sees the book as a tool to help educate people about the atrocities in Europe, but says schools need to do more.
“To me it’s just abysmal that out of 50 states only five currently have Holocaust education mandated. New Jersey is one of them and Pennsylvania is long overdue.”
As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a Jewish educator, she says we need to give our children the foundation and knowledge to counter those who try to convince them the Holocaust never existed.
She says it’s needed because children are confronted on college campuses by Holocaust deniers.
“If we give them that knowledge, then when they get to college and they hear these liars come onto their campuses and tell them these untruths, then they have something to counter with.”
The legislation has still not come up for a vote.