History Lessons

I was at lunch with three of my younger co-workers, and one of them mentioned that he probably misuses utensils. The other two joined the conversation suggesting that all of them are not perfect in this regard. I wanted to tell my story about Germany, and a lunch with the Dean, and how I was inadequate to the occasion. So I started by mentioning, that since the upper class was eradicated in the Soviet Union, the skill of using the silverware properly was not taught to children at home.

One of my co-workers asked: what do you mean by “eradicated?” This question took me by surprise, so while I was collecting myself, another co-worker replied: well, precisely that: they were killed. She continued: I do not know that much of Russian history as I probably should, but I now that in the beginning of the 20th century there was a revolution, and people were killed.

Apparently, for two of the three, this was news. Not that I think everybody in the world should know Russian history, but recently I’ve encountered several cases when people made bad judgments and bad decisions repeating history to the letter.

Maybe I am wrong, and this is already an old history, and the new generation should learn from new examples – I do not know.

2 thoughts on “History Lessons

  1. It’s so sad… I think that such things are BIG, and people should know (even if only very approximately). They are not part of some narrow national history. They are integral part of our common human history. It’s like the Holocaust, like Mao’s Famine, like Rwanda’s genocide… those are not internal stories of Jews, or Chinese, or Rwandese.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The irony of the situation is that the only person who knew was born and raised in the US, The other two were saying that nobody knows anything about their country history… which is somewhat true, but still…


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