The Holocaust as History and Human Rights: A Cross-National Analysis of Holocaust Education in Social Science Textbooks, 1970–2008

  • Patricia BromleyEmail author
  • Susan Garnett Russell


This chapter examines Holocaust education in secondary school social science textbooks around the world since 1970, using data coded from 465 textbooks from 69 countries. It finds that books and countries that are more connected to world society and have an accompanying emphasis on human rights, diversity in society, and a depiction of international, rather than national, society are more likely to discuss the Holocaust. Additionally, textbooks from Western countries contain more discussion of the Holocaust, although the rate is increasing in Eastern European and other non-Western countries, suggesting eventual convergence. The study also found a shift in the nature of discussion, from a historical event to a violation of human rights or crime against humanity. These findings broadly support the arguments of neo-institutional theories that the social and cultural realms of the contemporary world are increasingly globalized and that notions of human rights are a central feature of world society.


Human rights Holocaust education Textbooks World society 



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science/Public AdministrationUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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