Young Germans Resist ‘Holocaust Education’

Published: 2001-01-15

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No country, with the possible exception of the United States, has been so massively subjected to “Holocaustomania” as Germany. The campaign includes mandatory “Holocaust education” in schools, extensive treatment on television and in newspapers and magazines, “Holocaust”-theme motion pictures, and formal government ceremonies and solemn pronouncements by public figures. But this costly, seemingly endless effort doesn’t seem to be paying off, especially in shaping the attitudes of younger people.

Two-thirds of Germans aged 14 to 18 do not even know what the term “Holocaust” means, according to a new “Emnid” public opinion survey cited recently by a member of the Baden-Württemberg provincial legislature. Moreover, 20 percent of Germans youths are unfamiliar with the term “Auschwitz.” (“Aufklärung über NS-Zeit verbessern,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, No. 190, Aug. 18, 2000.)

A clear majority of young Germans surveyed – 62 percent – oppose punishing persons who “deny the Holocaust.” (In Germany, as in several other European countries, “Holocaust denial” is a crime.)

As a result of all this, lamented SPD legislator Norbert Zeller, many teenagers don’t regard the events of the Holocaust as objectionable. To counter this, he went on to declare, German schools should deal even more intensively with the “Holocaust.”

‘Reductio ad Hitlerum’

“The propagators of the new religion of the holocaust are not actually interested in the sufferings of the Jews but in the destruction of every good thing that can be tarred with the Nazi brush: Lutheran and Catholic Christianity, patriotism and the affection for one’s own people and traditions, conventional morality, traditional art and literature.

“Leo Strauss called it the reductio ad Hitlerum. If Hitler liked neoclassical art, that means that classicism in every form is Nazi; if Hitler wanted to strengthen the German family, that makes the traditional family (and its defenders) Nazi; if Hitler spoke of the “nation” or the “folk,” then any invocation of nationality, ethnicity, or even folkishness is Nazi ...”

— Thomas Fleming, editor, Chronicles (Rockford, Illinois), May 2000, p. 11.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Mark Weber
Title: Young Germans Resist ‘Holocaust Education’
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 19, no. 5 (September/October 2000), p. 24
Published: 2001-01-15
First posted on CODOH: April 12, 2013, 7 p.m.
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