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December 28, 2011

Does Holocaust education teach hatred of the German people?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:17 am

In the comment section of my blog, a follower gave a link to an article published today in The Telegraph, a British newspaper.  The headline of the article is “Stop teaching about the holocaust so that children see Germany in a better light, says Lord Baker.”  The article starts off with this statement: “British schools should no longer teach children about the Nazis because it makes them think less favourably of modern Germany, the architect of the National Curriculum has claimed.” 

Amen to that!

I have said the same thing several times myself in my blog posts.  I have particularly criticized the British for taking young students on a one-day trip to Auschwitz to be indoctrinated.  Visitors cannot tour Auschwitz on their own now; I wrote about this here.

It was the British who originated the concept of concentration camps.  Is that taught in British schools?  I doubt it.

Pat Buchanan’s book Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World should be required reading for every British student.

This quote is from the article in The Telegraph:

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said that schools should concentrate on teaching “the story in our own country” rather than the events of the Second World War, including the Holocaust.

Lord Baker, who introduced the National Curriculum in the 1980s, said: “I would ban the study of Nazism from the history curriculum totally.

“It’s one of the most popular courses because it’s easily taught and I don’t really think that it does anything to learn more about Hitler and Nazism and the Holocaust.

“It doesn’t really make us favourably disposed to Germany for a start, present-day Germany.”

In another comment on my blog, many months ago, an American professor of history wrote this:  “Saying that Holocaust courses in the US teach students to hate Germans is nonsense. I teach Holocaust and German history courses in the US that certainly do not do that.”

In the same comment, the history professor wrote that prisoners were burned alive at Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, and that prisoners were marched out of the concentration camps near the end of the war for the purpose of killing them so that they would not be witnesses to the atrocities committed in the camps.  What do students, who are taught this version of history, think about the German people?  How can young Americans not hate the German people, after this kind of indoctrination?

Five states in the USA now mandate Holocaust education in public schools.  Does this conflict with our Constitution which mandates the separation of church and state?  I think it does, since the Holocaust has now become a world wide religion.  America has a United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC although the Holocaust didn’t happen here and is not a part of American history.

Another blogger has written about the subject of the Jews promoting the hatred of the German people here.

Do British schools teach anything about the German “expellees?”  I first heard about the millions of ethnic Germans who were expelled after World War II when I read a Letter to the Editor in a local newspaper about 15 years ago. Maybe there should be a new law that this must be taught in American schools.

March 12, 2010

Should the Holocaust be taught in American schools?

Should the Holocaust be taught in American schools? Unequivocally, YES.  But not in English class, nor in Social Studies, nor in any class except World History. The students need a background in history before they are introduced to the Holocaust.  The Holocaust didn’t happen in a vacuum; there was a lot of history that led up to it.

To give you an idea of why Holocaust students need a background in history, Otto Ohlendorf, one of the war criminals on trial at Nuremberg, defended his actions, on the witness stand,  as historically necessary to secure “lebensraum in the German East (Poland).” Then he started talking about the Thirty Years War.  The Thirty Years war took place from 1618 to 1648.  Ohlendorf was on trial because he had led one of the Einsatzgruppen units that executed Jews in Eastern Europe during World War II. So what did the Thirty Years War have to do with anything?  That’s what the prosecutors at Nuremberg wanted to know.

How can students understand the Holocaust if they don’t know anything about the Thirty Years War which changed the course of European history? How can students understand Nazi Germany if they know nothing about World War I?  In the future, the two World Wars will probably be taught as one war that lasted from 1914 to 1945; it might even be called the Thirty-one Years War.

Unfortunately, the teaching of the Holocaust in American schools is combined with teaching about Rwanda and Darfur and taught as the history of genocide, not as European history.

When I went to school, back in the Dark Ages, we started studying World History in the 5th grade; by the time I finished the 8th grade, we had studied everything up to and including World War I.  My grandchildren didn’t study history of any kind, except the Holocaust and black history, until the 9th grade. Up until the 9th grade, they had “Social Studies” instead of history.

How can today’s students understand “the Third Reich” if they don’t know anything about the First Reich?  I can still visualize my 5th Grade World History book that had a picture of Charlemagne on the cover.  I couldn’t wait to learn about Charlemagne, but I didn’t cheat by reading ahead in the book.  Today’s 5th graders can tell you who Adolf Eichmann was, but Charlemagne — who cares about him? Every high school student in America can tell you what the Einsatzgruppen were, but the Thirty Years War, they don’t know.

Teaching the Holocaust is mandatory in American schools in 5 states.  The most important aspect of this instruction is that the Holocaust is allowed to be taught in any class, not necessarily in a history class.  It can be taught in music or art classes or in a reading class. Holocaust survivors are brought in to tell their stories to the students.  But the students have no background in history, so they can’t evaluate these stories; they just soak up everything like a sponge and don’t question anything because they don’t know what questions to ask.

It used to be that American History was a required course for college students.  Now the students can fulfill this requirement by studying Black History, or Women’s History or the Holocaust.  No one cares about American History any more, much less World History.  Now it is only the history of minorities and second class citizens, who have been victimized, that is important.

I think schools should teach the Holocaust, but in order to get into the class, the students should be required to pass a test in World History. That way, Holocaust classes would be open to 5th graders, but only if they have the background to understand it.

The film Schindler’s List, which is based on a novel, should not be shown in schools, except to students who know enough about history to understand which parts of the movie are true and which parts are fiction.

March 11, 2010

School children in the UK forced to play Holocaust game

A friend alerted me to this article, in the Mail Online newspaper in the United Kingdom, about school children in St. Hiliary’s School being forced to play a “Holocaust game.” I have quoted the full article below:

Primary schoolchildren in tears after they are told they will be removed from families as part of Holocaust “game”

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:10 AM on 11th March 2010

A group of stunned primary schoolchildren began crying when their teacher told them during a bizarre Holocaust game that they were to be taken away from their families.

The pupils, aged 11, became upset after a number of them were segregated and told they were being sent away or might end up in an orphanage.

The ordeal was meant to give the youngsters at the Lanarkshire school an insight into the horrors faced by Jewish children during World War II.

The exercise was intended to give the pupils at St Hilary’s Primary School an insight into the horrors faced by Jewish children during World War II.

But the exercise, which was sprung without warning on the children at St Hilary’s Primary School in East Kilbride last Thursday morning, reduced several to tears.

Deputy head teacher Elizabeth McGlynn segregated nine pupils and told them they were to be sent away. After 15 minutes they were told it was all an act but that the role play would carry on up to lunchtime.

One angry parent, who has lodged an official complaint about the exercise, told how the “barbaric” role play upset the children.

In a letter sent to council bosses, the unnamed mother said:

“Mrs McGlynn told the children they would probably have to be sent away from their families and that their parents had been informed about this and knew all about it.

“When one child asked if that meant they might have to go to an orphanage, they were told that might be a possibility.

“At that point many of the children became very distressed.

“One boy kicked his chair over, one was angry and demanded to speak to someone in charge but most were crying on a scale ranging from mildly to severely.

“Their ordeal lasted between 12 and 15 minutes before the children were informed that it was all an act but that the role play would continue until lunchtime.

“One girl said her classmates began crying when Mrs. McGlynn told them she had a letter from the Scottish Executive saying nine children had to be separated from their classmates.

“She told the shocked youngsters those who were born in January, February and March had lower IQs than other children, ‘due to lack of sunlight in their mother’s womb’, and that they had to put yellow hats on and be sent to the library.

The mother added: “When I asked why on earth they thought it was appropriate to deliver a role play situation to the children in this way, Mrs. Stewart informed me that they didn’t inform the children beforehand.

“This was because they wanted the children to experience an “accurate emotional response” to this scenario in order for it to be reflected in their story writing.

“Mrs. Stewart then invited me to come up to the school and see the excellent work that had been produced as a result of the exercise.

“I declined and my position and opinion on the method used to extract emotive story writing from the children was cruel, barbaric, traumatic and totally, totally unethical.

“My daughter and indeed no child needs to feel the terror, fear, panic, segregation and horror that a child of the Holocaust experienced during one of the worst atrocities in history to be able to empathise with them in order to produce good story writing.”

A South Lanarkshire council spokeswoman, who confirmed that a role play activity took place, said: “The council can confirm that a parent handed in a letter to Education Resources on Monday, March 8, 2010, and this will be responded to shortly.”

An estimated six million Jews died in the Holocaust. Jewish children in Nazi Europe had to wear yellow Star of David badges during World War II.

Jews also had to live apart from the rest of the population in ghettos.

Finally they were taken to concentration camps, where most were separated from their parents then killed.

When I first skimmed through this article online, I thought it was about children in an American school.  I know that American children also do Holocaust role playing in the classroom.  It is one thing to make American children feel bad about what their great-grandparents did during the Holocaust, but British kids?

The British allowed Jewish children to come to the UK on “Kinder transports” in 1939 before World War II started.  But in America, Congress refused to amend two laws, passed in 1920 and 1921, which limited the number of Jews that could come to America from Poland and Germany.

Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, went before Congress and personally begged the lawmakers to allow two transports of 10,000 Jewish children to come to America.  But Congress wouldn’t budge. Thank God, the British weren’t so cruel.  They allowed Kinder transports to bring Jewish children to the UK.

The children in St. Hiliary’s school should have played a game in which they were allowed to feel good about themselves because the British did the right thing in saving Jewish children.

America had a population of 125 million in 1933 when Hitler came to power.  There were less than 16 million Jews in the entire world at that time.  America could have opened its doors and allowed every Jew in the world to come here, but our great-grandparents wouldn’t lift a finger to save the Jews.

The first law, passed by Congress in America in 1920, was in response to a campaign by American Jews to save the Jews in Poland who were homeless and starving because they were living in eastern Poland where the Russians had burned everything when they retreated from the German Army in World War I.  American Jews warned that 6 million Jews would die in a “Holocaust” unless something was done.  America didn’t want these 6 million Polish Jews and that’s why Congress passed a law that severely limited the number of people from Poland who could get a visa to come to America.  When the Polish Jews tried to go to Germany and enter America from Germany, another law was passed in 1921 to stop this.

If schools in the UK want to make the children feel guilty about what their ancestors did, let them play a game about what the British did to the Irish.  My great-grandfather was shipped to America as a 16-year-old orphan on a “coffin ship” during the so-called Irish famine, which wasn’t a famine at all because there was plenty of grain to feed the Irish when the potato crop failed, but the British wouldn’t give the grain to the Irish.