Monday, August 3, 2015

Germany's Troubling Debate Over Holocaust Education

Hat tip to Shirley and Gatestone Insitute

Soeren Kern has an interesting article in the Gatestone Institute about Germany's (supposed) dilemma about Holocaust education as it pertains to recent immigrants-specifically Muslims.

In the last decades, Germany has done what I consider an admirable job in educating their young generations about the Holocaust. Now because of their restive Muslim immigrants, many of whom harbor anti-Jewish attitudes, the country is now engaged in a debate over whether they should bother Muslim children with visits to concentration camps. The argument goes that as recent immigrants, they are not responsible for the Holocaust.

Either are the young native Germans, but as German citizens, they must understand their country's past. The idea is that it never happens again. It is in that same spirit that we educate our children about slavery and segregation. We don't want it to happen again. New immigrants to America? Sorry, but you also need to understand our past-both good and bad.  As I recall, the wave of Irish and Italians who came here arrived after the Civil War. Their descendants are in the same boat as the rest of us even if their ancestors had no role in slavery.

Those who wish to exempt immigrant children, I suspect, are really concerned about not offending them with expressions of sympathy for Jews. Let's face it: Many of these immigrants come from countries that still think Hitler was a good guy. After all, Mein Kampf (Mein Jihad) is still a best seller in many Middle Eastern countries.

Germany must not abdicate its role in educating their young about their unfortunate past. Those who choose to immigrate to Germany and remain, must also understand their adopted country's history.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

For Germany's Muslim school children, the most important lesson to be learned from visiting the concentration camps is that if Hitler had not launched an attempt to first expropriate Jewish property, then drive Jews from all professions, trade and public life, and then to exterminate them physically, Zionism would have remained the preoccupation of a hand full of socialist communes scattered here and there in Palestine, while most European Jews would have remained happily in Europe, where they were prosperous, educated, respected, and had deep roots. Also, in the absence of a State of Israel, which would have lacked a critical mass of population to come into being in 1947, North African and Middle Eastern Jews would have remained where THEY had deep roots and a long history.

Absolutely, Muslim children in Germany who have substantial middle eastern or African ancestry need to learn these essential facts of history.

Gary Fouse said...

Don't forget all the Arabs who immigrated to a prospering Israel to find a better life.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Very few immigrated TO Israel, Gary. The territory that lay within the line drawn by the UN as the borders of Israel, and the territory that lay within Israeli military control after the 1947-1948 war, included a population that was about 20 percent Arabic.

I did hear from a man who fought in the 1967 war that a fair number of Arabs in the West Bank expected to be annexed to Israel, and were looking forward to it. That's all anecdotal of course, but it wouldn't surprise me.