Teaching the Holocaust in France

Alarmed by rising anti-semitism, France’s education minister, Luc Ferry, has issued a guide for “civil education” classes urging teachers to show Holocaust movies such as Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice and The Pianist. The Telegraph reports:

The guide also recommends visits to former Nazi concentration camps, books such as The Diary of Anne Frank and documentaries depicting the Holocaust.

. . . Mr Ferry said teachers had reported being abused by young Muslims while trying to teach about the Holocaust. He described how one teacher asked a class of 13-year-old pupils about their likes and dislikes. One child wrote: “I like football, I don’t like Jews.”

One prominent rabbi has advised Jewish schoolchildren in Paris who received abuse and threats from Muslim youths to wear baseball hats to cover their skullcaps.

Mr Ferry said that young people used racist insults such as “dirty Jew” or “dirty wog” as frequently as other people said “idiot” or “fool”.

He added: “It’s extremely serious. These words have become banal, light as feathers, when in fact they have a very serious history. The sole purpose of this guide is to give weight back to these words; to make pupils understand that these insults have killed.”

. . . The guide also includes details of the laws that teachers can refer to when confronted with racist acts. “It is necessary to intervene in the slightest incident – even a verbal attack – and not let any of these things pass without punishment or explanation,” said Mr Ferry.

There’s been a 10-fold increase in attacks on Jews in the last 10 years.

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Comments

  1. D Anghelone says:

    Alarmed by rising anti-semitism, France’s education minister, Luc Ferry, has issued a guide for “civil education” classes urging teachers to show Holocaust movies such as Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice and The Pianist.

    Forcing this on the kiddies will likely have an opposite to the desired effect.

  2. Forcing this on the kiddies will likely have an opposite to the desired effect.

    So the school should ignore the attacks on Jews?

  3. Walter Wallis says:

    Hey French Jews – How about a little dose of “Never Again!”?
    One must always reward violence.Appropriately.

  4. Not forcing it on the kiddies doesn’t appear to have accomplished anything useful.

  5. yet another Ross says:

    They’re trying to cure French Muslims of Nazi/European-based hatred of jews. This will fail since this hatred is not rooted in Nazi/European heritage.

    This hatred has its roots in Islam, and none of this anti racist re-education will work until they address the hatred of jews in the Koran and in the deeds of Mohammed.

  6. D Anghelone says:

    So the school should ignore the attacks on Jews?

    No. But I think this approach is more likely to exacerbate the problem than to lessen it.

    Not forcing it on the kiddies doesn’t appear to have accomplished anything useful.

    Well, something has been forced upon them, eh?

  7. PJ/Maryland says:

    I think the European countries all have this problem in understanding free speech. They seem to think there is a law for everything, and they can just legislate what people are allowed to say. Since no government can possibly police every citizen’s every utterance, what actually happens is a lot of selective enforcement.

    So, we’ve seen the French government go after Yahoo (US) because they were allowing auctions of Nazi memorabilia. But the French government itself took a very long time to start noticing actual attacks on synagogues and assaults on Jews.

    If these governments would limit their roles to physical attacks, they could prevent them all, and not have to be selective. But the idea of any government anywhere ever limiting its own role is pretty laughable…

  8. PJ/Maryland says:

    This hatred has its roots in Islam, and none of this anti racist re-education will work until they address the hatred of jews in the Koran and in the deeds of Mohammed.

    YA Ross, could you expand on that? My impression was that Jews and Christians were treated similarly in the Koran (as “People of the Book”), sort of one step up from the pagans, tho a long step down from Muslims. I had thought that most of the current Muslim anti-Semitism was indirectly related to Israel.

  9. Interesting that the list of Holocaust movies did not include “Au Revoir Les Enfants”

  10. I say jam it down their halal-eating throats. Muslims might not love their Jewish neighbors, but they can tolerate their presence in daily life without violence. The French haven’t treated their Muslim immigrants terribly well, but no worse than their IndoChinese or Caribbean immigrants. It used to be that no matter where you were from or what color your skin, if you spoke French, you WERE French. Then the politics of the hypenated appeared, with attendent grievances and victim status.

  11. Mark Odell says:

    Walter Wallis wrote: Hey French Jews – How about a little dose of “Never Again!”? One must always reward violence.Appropriately.

    Ah, but sir, while you’re absolutely correct, you’ve reckoned without two crucial facts: (a) they’re Jewish; and (b) they’re French :-).

  12. D Anghelone says:

    Zelman oui, Spielberg non.

  13. Anti-Semitism has to be nipped in the bud, with students being warned about the consequences, and, if the actions are taken by a group, sent home for a time. Harassment will only increase if punishments aren’t serious enough.

    If the students will not comply, parents should be made to appear in court. If they are not citizens, they should be given one chance to correct their children, then deported.

  14. My impression was that Jews and Christians were treated similarly in the Koran (as “People of the Book”), sort of one step up from the pagans, tho a long step down from Muslims.

    I think that people who wish to paint Islam in a sympathetic light have assigned too much importance to this phrase. It’s one thing to show the existence of the phrase in a religion’s scriptures, quite another to show that the religion’s adherents act in accordance with that phrase. (In the Old Testament it is stated that Yahweh was angry with Saul when he failed to exterminate the Amakelites; does that mean that Jews and Christians lust for the genocide of Amakelites?)

    Islam is a religion of conquest. When Muhammed was conquering Arabia, Jews were not a military threat. Now they are, and it’s not surprising to see so much Muslim hatred directed toward them.

  15. Tim from Texas says:

    And Christianity isn’t a religion of conquest?