Anyone here know about Auschwitz?

| March 8, 2012 | 0 Comments

In the wake of Holocaust Memorial Day, a study conducted by the Forsa Research Institute in Berlin concludes that almost half of German citizens aged between the ages of 18 and 30 have never heard of the notorious Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz.

Less than 70% of survey respondents could name the country where the infamous Second World War camp is situated, and larger numbers were ignorant of the crimes committed by the Nazis, reported the study authors. And as the German government strategises how to contain a new wave of neo-Nazi violence, its education ministry is also reassessing how schools should teach the war that saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and other ‘undesirables’.

The study also revealed a generally uninformed, poorly educated citizenry growing up across Europe. In the main, say researchers, young people glean an understanding of the war through satellite television channels that screen programmes like Hitler’s Women and Nazi America. These programmes undermine a thorough understanding of this period in history, and render viewers vulnerable to far-right propaganda that claims the Holocaust is a myth, according to the authors of the study.

Graham Lacey, Headmaster of the Berlin British School, a private international school in the German capital, said schools are morally compelled to teach topics like the Nazi’s exploitation of democracy and the state’s treatment of minorities during WWII. Said Lacey: “Schools must be careful not to downplay the significance of a period when the world almost fell off its moral axis.”

Category: Autumn 2012

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