Germans Mull Revamped Holocaust Education Plan

Anti-Semitism Still Potent Force in Country

By Don Snyder

Published October 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Germany’s parliament is considering a review of education programs in its schools after receiving a government commissioned report showing that anti-Semitism in the country remains at disturbingly high levels.

The Bundestag, which debated the report Wednesday, put off approving any legislation or resolutions in response to the report’s findings until it could develop a concrete action plan. Bundestag member Stefan Ruppert said he thought such a plan would be ready “in a few weeks” and could include “an evaluation of school syllabi on the history of the Shoah as well as Jewish life in Germany.”

A consensus is developing in Germany that education on anti-Semitism must move beyond its current focus on the Holocaust as the impact of that historical event on younger generations recedes. Some point out that there is now also in Germany a population of Muslims for whom the Holocaust has a much different political meaning due to its use as a justification for the establishment of Israel, which they view as having led to the displacement of the Palestinians.

In the Bundestag debate, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, said, “Anti-Semitism is not just a topic for the Jewish community in Germany. It touches on the very basis of our democracy, our freedom, our living together.” He denounced an attack on Rabbi Daniel Alter that took place August 28 in Berlin by individuals of Middle Eastern appearance who first asked Alter if he was Jewish after seeing his kipah.

The report, commissioned four years ago, was delivered to the Bundestag in January. It found that notwithstanding the emergence of Muslim anti-Semitism in Germany, the vast majority of anti-Semitic activities and incidents continues to come from the country’s far right. In 2011, almost 96 percent, or 1,188 of the 1,229 reported cases came from the right, the commission reported. The study found that 20% of Germans harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

The Bundestag debate was poorly attended. But Chancellor Angela Merkel came to underline her government’s commitment to addressing the issue.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.