Einer neuen Studie zufolge macht der Unterricht über Nationalsozialismus Schüler nicht mehr betroffen. Und ihr Wissen um die Verbrechen im Zweiten Weltkrieg ist erschreckend schlecht. Geschichtslehrer werden oft sogar als “Israelfreunde” beschimpft.

A new [unpublished] study [by Bavaria’s Regional Office of Political Education] shows that instruction about National Socialism is not taking with students. And their knowledge of crimes during World War Two is frighteningly bad. History teachers are often reviled as “friends of Israel.”

Is this the reputedly new antisemitism? Hold on–things aren’t so bad. Robert Sigel, in an interview for Focus-Schule, points to several factors that make instruction less effective. Students show a great deal of curiosity over the Holocaust, but lessons are often complicated, touching on deep moral issues in the midst of historical and political instruction. Some materials, like films and visits to concentration camps, don’t illicit the same horror as they used to. Moreover, as Germany’s population swells with immigrants, students don’t connect directly with Germany’s past. Ultimately, history instruction must reach these students on a more general plane, concerning discrimination that may be a theme in their own histories.