More than fifty years have passed since the Holocaust, yet in country after country it is still difficult to face and to acknowledge what was done and not done regarding the Jews. Many nations have begun to deal with these issues, but progress has varied greatly from country to country. In the 1970s, the Netherlands put aside the myth that the Dutch nation had struggled gallantly to save its Jewish citizens from the Germans. The Dutch came to grips with the historical record and acknowledged their failure. In France, clear-cut confrontation with the reality of the record has only recently begun, as in the formerly Communist countries of Europe, Switzerland, and several other nations.
In the United States, public consciousness of the Holocaust began to grow in the 1970s and reached a high level before the end of the 1980s. This growing attention to the Jewish catastrophe can be traced in the spread of annual Holocaust commemoration services, increasingly involving American Christians and increasingly becoming civic rather than almost exclusively Jewish ceremonies. The expanded consciousness of the Holocaust was also marked by the significant increase in the number of high school and college courses dealing with the Holocaust, as well as by the formation of dozens of museums, memorials, and educational centers in all parts of the country. Another important indicator was the large outpouring of Holocaust-related films, novels, and scholarly works. The Holocaust was also integrated into theological studies and became a core issue in Christian-Jewish relations. By the 1990s, recognition of the Holocaust as an issue of importance had been embedded into American culture.
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