Edited By Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis
2 German Children and their Knowledge of Judaism and the Holocaust
The text at hand focuses on the question at what point in a person’s life one should be confronted with the annihilation of Jews in the Third Reich – or more precisely: Should such cruel truths be kept away from young children or is it, in contrast, even necessary to raise an awareness at an early stage of an individual biography? It is undoubted that the knowledge of persecution during the Third Reich is a core issue of education in order to develop a corresponding sense of responsibility and hence specific preventive models. But still it is also fact that in Germany there seems to be a lack of an obvious culture of remembrance among young people, which could be due to the rather late confrontation with the Third Reich in school. The text below documents projects in primary schools that confront nine- to ten-year-old children with the Holocaust in the context of general information about Judaism. It focuses on general pedagogical and didactic issues as well as on specific methodological ones. In addition a specific phase model is being developed.
The importance of a Holocaust remembrance culture
My thoughts below, concerning the Holocaust remembrance culture in Germany, centre on the following question: At what point in a person’s life should he or she start to become aware of, and reflect upon, the annihilation ← 45 | 46 → of Jewish life in the Third Reich? Ought we to protect children from these terrible truths...
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