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World War II - what are german children taught about it?

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posted on May, 14 2004 @ 05:55 AM
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This is something i've always wanted to know. What do german children get taught about WWII?. When I was at high school, i remember asking my history teacher and she said she didn't know. Are the german told that what the Nazi's did were wrong or do they get told that Hitler was doing the right thing?.
Every time i watch programs about WWII, i always wondered what the German people are taught, hopefully a german member of ATS will be able to answer my question.




posted on May, 14 2004 @ 06:01 AM
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the point of a history class is to teach what happened, not to teach "the bad things that happened in history".

however far too many teachers i had didnt realize this. they like to inject their own take on the history they taught us and it twisted the history in our minds.

you can teach children "hitler killed x number of jews, homosexuals, etc" and it wouldnt take a personal interjection on your part for them to figure out that was a bad thing!

history class is suppose to be objective, imprtial, unbiased and AFTER the lesson if they want the class to discuss what they just learned fine! i'm all for that.

too many people are turning the history class into a guilt trip class. the WWII issue aside...



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 06:04 AM
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Who cares? Lets just blame the Jews...why not? >



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 06:29 AM
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First off, Germans are taught that Hitler and the Nazi's were the worst thing to happen to the German people. It is illegal in Germany to distribute Nazi material, play Nazi songs, give the "Hitler' salute and so on. That's how bad they want to forget that part of their history. 2 of my 3 children were born there, but were too young to have had history in school, before we came back stateside.

But I did hear a difference of opinions on the start of the war, personal fellings of Hitler and the 3rd Reich, and so on from family members. If I would bring up the 'Holocaust', and what the Germans did to the Jews and others in Europe at the time, they would counter with what the Americans did to the Natives of this country, or what Stalin did to the Jews in the Soviet Union, which is by far worse than anything the Germans did.

Certain organizations keep bring the Holocaust back into the limelight, instead of letting it fade away. My wife(German) , and others, really get upset when every time a reference is made to a 'Police State', Germany is mentioned. It permeates in the news.

"If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it."

Fair enough. But the chances of Naziism rising in Germany again are close to null. Every country has it's wackos. But the majority of Germans are ashamed with what happened, and want to move on.

I am of Croatian descent. During WWII, we were allied with the Germans, as Croatia and Germany are traditional allies. Croatia also committed atrocities against the Jews and others. But that is in the past. That's where it should stay.

I asked my wife what she was taught in school about WWII. She said they cover Hitler and the Nazis, almost to the point of monotony. The really push it on the children that it was wrong. But they also learned that Hitler eliminated unemployment, started the Kindergeld program ( awarding mothers for having babies, a program still in existence to this day), and most importantly, saving Western Europe from Communism.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 07:41 AM
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OK thanx for clearing everything up. Cheers guys



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 08:20 AM
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or what Stalin did to the Jews in the Soviet Union, which is by far worse than anything the Germans did.


The Soviet Union was tough for ALL people, not just the Jews. However, the Soviet Union did not build ovens to burn their people. What the Germans did is unforgivable in Poland.

Children have always been taught to hate Germans in Poland, and there has always been ethnic tensions between the two countries. There is even a popular song that is sung throught Poland talking about their hate for Germany.

In my opinion, Germany shouldn't even exist as a separate state. It should be cut up into pieces and given away to neighboring countries, just as Poland was. Their sins have gone unpunished long enough.

The older generation should be ashamed for what they did, and I hope they carry their guilt with them until the day they die.




[Edited on 14-5-2004 by PolskieWojsko]



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 08:31 AM
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I knew someone that was bought up in the old East Germany. They were told absolutely nothing about WWII. He is in his late 30s so things may have changed since then but he was very interested in some of the things I told him about the war.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by PolskieWojsko
In my opinion, Germany shouldn't even exist as a separate state. It should be cut up into pieces and given away to neighboring countries, just as Poland was. Their sins have gone unpunished long enough.


I think Germany should be forgiven now for what they did during the war. We live in a new century now and i don't think modern germans can be blamed for the past.

However, in Europe, you can see that it won't be long until there's another rise in white nationalism. Just take a look at the UK, the BNP is gaining support by expoliting the immgration problem. Throughout Europe, white nationalism and nazism is on the rise.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by PolskieWojsko


or what Stalin did to the Jews in the Soviet Union, which is by far worse than anything the Germans did.


However, the Soviet Union did not build ovens to burn their people. What the Germans did is unforgivable in Poland.

No, the Soviets just made them 'dissappear', ending up in Gulgags, worked to their usefulness is gone, then executed

Children have always been taught to hate Germans in Poland, and there has always been ethnic tensions between the two countries. There is even a popular song that is sung throught Poland talking about their hate for Germany.

In my opinion, Germany shouldn't even exist as a separate state. It should be cut up into pieces and given away to neighboring countries, just as Poland was. Their sins have gone unpunished long enough.

Excuse me? Remember, Silesia is traditionally German, as is the Sudetenland and the Alsace. Their motives were the reunification of the German peoples. The Soviets agreed with the Germans to divide Poland. In 1939, Stalin advanced from the East, and the Germans from the West. Where's your hatred for the Soviets?

The older generation should be ashamed for what they did, and I hope they carry with them until the day they die.

Look, wars happen all the time. No excuse for what happened in the camps. But for one country to march into another is really, in the terms of history, no big deal. Or are you just angry that when Germany launched their blitzkrieg, the Polish rode out to meet them on Horseback? hehe

To say Germany should be divided is just ludicrous. What an ignorant statement.

Razumijez?



[Edited on 14-5-2004 by PolskieWojsko]


[Edited on 14-5-2004 by nathraq]



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by PolskieWojsko


Children have always been taught to hate Germans in Poland, and there has always been ethnic tensions between the two countries.


Originally posted by nathraq

Or are you just angry that when Germany launched their blitzkrieg, the Polish rode out to meet them on Horseback? hehe

To say Germany should be divided is just ludicrous. What an ignorant statement.


Wow, did you guys intend on provideing such lucid examples?

Except for it appearing that neither one of you realize the underlying seriousness and implications of what you are saying that would be a hilarious exchange!!!



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 11:39 AM
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To say Germany should be divided is just ludicrous

Ludicrous...more like insane. How can you divide up modern germany when it has done nothing wrong




Children have always been taught to hate Germans in Poland


No offence, but if polish children are taught that, then the polish education system is pretty #ed up.



posted on May, 14 2004 @ 06:41 PM
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Excuse me? Remember, Silesia is traditionally German, as is the Sudetenland and the Alsace. Their motives were the reunification of the German peoples. The Soviets agreed with the Germans to divide Poland. In 1939, Stalin advanced from the East, and the Germans from the West. Where's your hatred for the Soviets?



Ty pierdola ty, do you even know what you are talking about? Hitler wanted to kill off all the Poles for "living space"! What the hell is wrong with you?

The Soviets(oh they have their fair share of atrocities as well) were a whole different story that had to do more with their idea of "pan-slavism" and their version of communism. I don't think their plans involved killing every single slav for living space.




Look, wars happen all the time. No excuse for what happened in the camps. But for one country to march into another is really, in the terms of history, no big deal. Or are you just angry that when Germany launched their blitzkrieg, the Polish rode out to meet them on Horseback? hehe


No, you are the ignorant one. Get your history right you baffoon. The Polish cavalry never charged at German tanks. This was purely propoganda, but your litte brain obviously can't sort junk information from facts.

Their was only one instance of Polish cavalry meeting armor. Polish cavalry was charging a group of German infantry when an light armored car showed up. Where did you ever get that stupid image of yours with Polish Knights charging German Panzers? Poland had tanks too, why would they use horses?




Razumijez?


No, your information is all wrong and all you do is recite false propoganda put out by the Germans. Your not polish are you? I highly doubt it. You have to be German because my blood boils when I am just typing to you.



[Edited on 14-5-2004 by PolskieWojsko]



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 04:22 AM
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Originally posted by PolskieWojsko
You have to be German because my blood boils when I am just typing to you.


Sorry,but your an idoit. How can you feel that way about modern Germany when it has done nothing wrong??. Please do tell me, im dying to know.



Hitler wanted to kill off all the Poles for "living space"!


Well i don't know what history books you've been reading, Hitler believed that non jews could become Germans, but Polish jewish were executed. Sit down one day and read up about what exactly happened. You might learn something.



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by PolskieWojsko
The Soviet Union was tough for ALL people, not just the Jews. However, the Soviet Union did not build ovens to burn their people. What the Germans did is unforgivable in Poland.


Yea the Soviets just shot them. Way much better *rolleyes* - don't you realise that both countries had totally sick leaders and some brainwashed citizens?

Sure it was damn hard what Hitler did to Germany and I am saying Hitler because nowadays nobody would even think about just making holidays in Poland.



Children have always been taught to hate Germans in Poland, and there has always been ethnic tensions between the two countries. There is even a popular song that is sung throught Poland talking about their hate for Germany.


Great, I can't remember being at school and taught that Polands are fags. Ethnic tension?
I THINK THIS CONFLICT REMAINS ONE-SIDED!!!!



In my opinion, Germany shouldn't even exist as a separate state. It should be cut up into pieces and given away to neighboring countries, just as Poland was. Their sins have gone unpunished long enough.

The sins have been unpunished long enough? Ahm...I wonder what history books you guys have but it looks like "End of the war. Next chaper. Germany in 2004."
..."Oh mama what happened in the time between?..Nothing my kid, just hate the Germans, they are all Nazis...damn racists!"





The older generation should be ashamed for what they did, and I hope they carry their guilt with them until the day they die.


You can guess, many are. But you may remember that only a third voted for Hitler back in the 30's. It wasn't even the majority.

And that they took over control so perfectly was because of constant fear tactics. Pretty much the same how Saddam Hussein controlled his citizens. You would fight the approaching "enemy" or being shot by SS because you don't like to?
Luckily the most worse from that time are dead now and the rest learned from history more like the other european countries.



You have to be German because my blood boils when I am just typing to you.


I think that was also Hitlers reaction on Jews. You aren't better.




No, your information is all wrong and all you do is recite false propoganda put out by the Germans


I can't remember being thought some of the stuff he said but saying he is only telling "german" propaganda is a bit weak minded, isn't it?





About history classes in Germany:

As you have a maximum of 13 years here in Germany and the upper school at the fifth class you start around the 7th class with World War II history.
Basically 5-6 is for the Greeks, Roman Empire and Middle Age, like the crusades.
English classes, religion and some others are heavily connected with history elements. E.g. in english classes we were told nearly everything about Englands development - on the "Isle" and abroad like in India.
Same goes for France and in religion everything was settled that had to do with the crusades and other religion problems. Of course we also learned about all other big religions, all around the world.

So history is taught pretty straight in line so all pupils are old enough to fully realise what happened in WW2 and WW1. While it differs from school to school you are taught 2-4 years in history about the two world wars and everything that had to do with it.
History classes often do trips to old concentration camps to actually see the cruelty and learn more about that black hole in our history.
Nearly every good school has a student-exchange program with an Israel school.

So one year Israelis come to Germany, see our country and together with their hosts they visit concentration camps! - this is very emotional as you can imagine. The reactions are different from "my god, we are glad everything has changed so much" to "I hate you all". Anyway, most pupils from Israel are enjoying the good relationship.
As well, the german pupils travel to Israel the next year, to see all interesting sites and learn about Israels history.

After many years of WWII and WWI history we were introduced into a new topic. That was the Islam and the conflict in/around Israel. About one year we had a lot of stuff to learn but it was very interesting.(though the one year about Islam is pretty new) but it is mandatory now for all schools.

Racism here in Germany:
The old "west germany" parts are nearly totall clean and the rest who is left is so small, I think it is the usual amount of just stupid people that every country has to deal with.
In fact, when I go into downtown cologne it would take me some hours to find a German that "PolskieWojsko" would imagine as being typcial...like blond hair, blue eyes etc.
Especially here we have a huge amount of immigrants who fluently integrated into society and it's just cool.
Turks eat their foods at Vietnamese, Jews at an Iraqi restaurant. It's multi-cultural.

Not like everywhere in Germany. In the old eastern part(remember, that was controlled by the great soviets for long time...) the de-nazification didn't work out 100% or at least 99%.
No, they aren't all racists or a huge amount but there is still a strain of thinking like back in the 30's over there.
And the big BUT now: it very much depends on where you are. The racism that is left is concentrated on a few towns that are like islands over there.
Typically those cities face the following: high unemployment, high move-away rate, they are just poor and ugly cities and a lower average IQ.
- and if you compare this to equal cities in other countries, I bet you have the same strains of racism down there.
It's getting better any day though. And not to forget - World War history is present all the year. There is nearly no day that goes away having WW2 uncovered at least on one tv channel. The biggest tv stations even have whole series at least 2 times a year, displaying certain parts of WW2 history.

As a German you must be blind, deaf and dumb as hell if you can't remember being taught about the World Wars. I hope my view helped you and thanks for asking!

[Edited on 16-5-2004 by shoo]



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:36 AM
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Excellent post shoo and thank you for clearing a lot of things up. Just ignore PolskieWojsko ranting, he still thinks Germany is controlled by the National socialist. I've just done a quick search on the internet to read up more about polands views against Germany, i didn't find anything about polish children being taught to hate Germany or any other extreme views



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:38 AM
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One think I would like to add. I have been travelling pretty much for my 19 years and mostly none hotel+beach holidays but holidays to learn about the culture and people.

What really frightened me was that in most countries racism is pretty much more consistent as here in Germany. Still people consider us of being racists, which is quite shocking.
Racism in other countries just became more a daily thing.
Okay, maybe not the real racism but intolerance.

Also here in Germany, the last racistic views I heared came from one Indian who immigrated to Germany who was pissed at polish people and one turish friend who was annoyed by blacks.
Isn't that ironic?

Sometimes I have the feeling racism is something we import from other countries that always accused us of being racists.



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:41 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
I've just done a quick search on the internet to read up more about polands views against Germany, i didn't find anything about polish children being taught to hate Germany or any other extreme views


It's just taught in the Stalin-rememberance-school in his home town, extra course 3A: "Important stuff for daily life"



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:46 AM
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Why not do a German school curriculum search to find out what they are taught??

Germans have always been in denial about the holocaust. The entire German population was brainwashed , starting with the youth of Germany.

I saw a documentary about Nazi Germany and one part had a youth rally. What the Nazi's did was use mass emotion through music and group singing to get children to the point of singing songs something like this: I want to serve the Furher and make him happy,
Love him more than mother and father etc etc
They interviewed a guy who actually sang those kind of songs (he was 7 or something at the time) who said they were totally manipulated.
So the kids kinda came out of that experience pretty #ed up! Feeling used etc. The only way they would teach their kids about it would be either it was evil wrong etc, or be in denial about the whole thing, or actually still believe it was the greatest moment in Germany history. Remeber Hitler was the German Messiah, thats what people viewed him as.



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by TruthStrgnrThanFiction
Germans have always been in denial about the holocaust.


Please, what? It's even illegal here to say that the holocaust never happened and if you aren't managing life with an IQ of sandwich toasts, as a german you know exactly that the Holocaust happened. There is no denial, there is just shame that our ancestors have let this happen.

PS: the technique the nazis used were described correctly. Technically seen it was one genius but shocking psy-op.

[Edited on 16-5-2004 by shoo]



posted on May, 16 2004 @ 05:57 AM
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Germany hasn't been in denial about the holocaust. The reason why Germans never talk about it, is because they are ashamed of what happened.



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