Being taught to hate.

Education is the key to a better world and to end ignorance and racism. However if education does not include an element of critical thinking, it is open to abuse and it can be used to indoctrinate young impressionable minds, or any impressionable mind really.

This blog will refer to the education in the Third Reich, but it also comes with a warning. Nowadays there is education on the far right and far left without any critical thinking being encouraged. There is a great danger in this.

From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German children as a special target audience for its propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful.

Millions of German youngsters were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. In January 1933, the Hitler Youth had approximately 100,000 members, but by the end of the year this figure had increased to more than 2 million. By 1937 membership in the Hitler Youth increased to 5.4 million before it became mandatory in 1939. The German authorities then prohibited or dissolved competing youth organizations.

Soon after the Enabling Act of 1933 had been passed, Jewish teachers and professors were dismissed from German schools and universities. By April 1933, there were no Jewish teachers remaining in schools attended by ‘Aryan’ students, a racial term used by the Nazis to describe the Germanic peoples.

All teachers had to join the Nazi Teachers’ Association, which vetted them for political and racial suitability. By 1939, 97 per cent of teachers belonged to it. Teachers had to go to summer school so they could teach Nazi ideas effectively. Pupils were encouraged to inform the authorities if teachers did not teach and support Nazi ideas.

In the educational system, Jewish children regularly experienced ridicule, from both their peers and teachers. For example, Jewish children would be sent to the back of the classroom to reiterate to the non-Jewish German children the notion that they were inferior to them. Additionally, “teachers would begin to pick out Jewish students in classrooms to use as examples during biology lessons about racial impurity. Jewish children would be told to stand at the front of the class, whilst teachers pointed to their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hair, comparing these to characteristics on Nazi propaganda sheets”. Eventually, the Jewish children were completely segregated from the non-Jewish German children in schools.

The lines on the blackboard ,on the picture above translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew” While 2 Jewish students stand next to the black board.

Textbooks were rewritten, especially in history and biology, to promote Germany’s ‘greatness’, Aryan ‘supremacy’ and anti-Semitism. Children’s Stories and Textbooks were used as Propaganda tools. Young people were even encouraged to act as propagandists for the Third Reich.

Additionally, after-school activities and weekend trips were regularly sponsored by the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. These activities often acted as recruitment meetings for the participating school children. The Hitler Youth combined sports and physical outdoor activities with Nazi ideologies. Likewise, the League of German Girls emphasized collective athletics such as rhythmic gymnastics, which “German health authorities deemed less strenuous to the female body and better geared to preparing them for motherhood”. This was also used for public display. Authorities wanted these sports and activities to encourage “young men and women to abandon their individuality in favor of the goals of the Aryan collective”.

The Nazis tried to create a global ‘brand’ for the NSDAP. For this they would also children from the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. They would even go as far as China. The picture below was taken in China in 1935.

The Nazis started in 1933 to introduce their education curriculum. Six years before they started WWII. Six years of creating young willing followers of the Nazi ideology. All of this did not start on the battlefield but in the classrooms. Creating a feeling or sense of belonging to a cause is a powerful and seductive tool.

As I said at the start of the blog, education is key to fight ignorance and racism. But if not done in a proper way and without any critical thinking incorporated in the curriculum, it will do the opposite and create ignorance and racism.

There is a trend in education at the moment where something doesn’t suit a certain narrative it gets cancelled or ridiculed. Especially in reference to history. This is the way the Nazis got a hook into education.

So this is a warning to all educators, unless you are eager to let something like the holocaust again, allow your students to absorb all aspects of history, good and bad. Don’t cancel things that don’t suit you but look at the bigger picture.

sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z897pbk/revision/2

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/indoctrinating-youth

https://www.pnas.org/content/112/26/7931

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_propaganda_in_Nazi_Germany

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When you come back to school, and your classmates are gone.

The last year has been a strange year for a great number of countries across the world, especially when it comes to education. There is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic will have consequences down the line for many students.

However most of them when they go back to school, they will still see their fellow school friend and students.

During the Holocaust a great number Jewish children were killed. In the Netherlands 75 % of all Hews were murdered. Yet the Nazis still get the illusion going that life was reasonably ‘normal’ for the Jews. Jewish children were still going to school, although their curriculum was greatly reduced. Even extra curricular activities were still encouraged.

This to me is one of the more sickening of the Nazi occupation, they gave people false hope. I have said this before that the Nazis had never been abled to succeed with their final solution plans without the help of other. The bureaucrats, the civil servants, the public transport staff and also other citizens who thought they could benefit from the removal of their Jewish neighbours, this wasn’t only the case in the Netherlands but all of occupied Europe. The one main difference with the Netherlands compared to many of the other countries, the Dutch had an extremely efficient public service, which was used to its full capacity by the Nazis.

I sometimes wonder how distressing it must have been for those poor children to see that every time they came back to school from a break, or after the weekend, some of their classmates were gone. What questions would have gone through their minds?

Any nation that kills their children kills its own future. Most of the children in the pictures in this blog would have been murdered during the Holocaust. I don’t know their names, where they lived, what age they were. But that is not important, all I know that none of them deserved to be treated like subhuman, none of them deserved the be murdered, none of their futures should have been stolen from them. What they deserve now is to be remembered and for all is us to work hard to avoid something like the Holocaust happening again.

Source

Teaching hate

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I was going to put a lot of pictures in this blog, but then when I looked at this picture I thought that it would be enough.

A class, class mates and a teacher, like any other class in any other school. Except it isn’t. Here the children are taught to hate. The kids standing in front of the class are not there because they didn’t do their homework, or missed a test.

No they were standing there because they were Jewish, no other reason.

The lines on the blackboard translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew”

The teacher here as in any other school, is a figure of authority. In charge of children who he has to educate, it is clear that here he is teaching hate and he is using live examples of the type of people his pupils have to hate.

This picture is from a school in Germany taken in 1935, just think of that 1935 several years before the holocaust did not reach the mass extermination stage yet.

People ask me sometimes ” How could a sophisticated and cultured nation like Germany allow a genocide.

The picture above is part of the answer, you teach them to hate at a young age.

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Sesame Street

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On November 10  in 1969, “Sesame Street,” a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. “Sesame Street,” with its memorable theme song (“Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street”), went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. It has aired in more than 120 countries.

I think everyone who grew up in the 70s-90s must have seen at least one episode of Sesame Street. Who can’t remember the theme song?

Regardless you musical affiliation you will have at least whistled or hummed the tune. Many moons ago when I still had hair I was in a heavy metal band and we even covered the theme song and people would sing it when we played it.

The show was conceived in 1966 during discussions between television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Corporation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Their goal was to create a children’s television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them”,[3] such as helping young children prepare for school. After two years of research, the newly formed Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) received a combined grant of $8 million from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation and the U.S. federal government to create and produce a new children’s television show.

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The subjects tackled by “Sesame Street” have evolved with the times. In 2002, the South African version of the program, “Takalani Sesame,” introduced a 5-year-old Muppet character named Kami who is HIV-positive, in order to help children living with the stigma of a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. In 2006, a new Muppet, Abby Cadabby, made her debut and was positioned as the show’s first female star character, in an effort to encourage diversity and provide a strong role model for girls.

Since its inception, over 74 million Americans have watched “Sesame Street.” Today, an estimated 8 million people tune in to the show each week in the U.S. alone.images

 

 

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