How Do German Schools Teach About WWII? | Summary and Q&A

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July 26, 2020
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How Do German Schools Teach About WWII?

TL;DR

German schools teach World War II history in a comprehensive and critical manner, focusing on the Weimar Republic, Nazi ideology and atrocities, resistance against the Nazi regime, and the aftermath of defeat and occupation.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do German schools teach the history of World War II?

German schools teach the history of World War II by focusing on different aspects, including the Weimar Republic, Nazi ideology and atrocities, resistance against the Nazi regime, and the aftermath of defeat and occupation.

Q: How do German schools address the atrocities committed by the Nazis?

German schools address the atrocities committed by the Nazis through visits to Holocaust memorials, the study of literature and documentaries, and amplifying Jewish voices. They emphasize the consequences of hate, violence, and the importance of understanding the dangers of radical ideologies.

Q: What aspects of World War II are underplayed in German schools?

Military details of the war, such as battles and conquests, are often underplayed in German schools. The focus is instead on the ideology and practice of ethnic cleansing, as well as the resistance against the Nazi regime.

Q: How is the defeat and post-war period viewed in German schools?

The defeat and post-war period are viewed as liberation from Nazism. The destruction and high cost of human lives during the war are attributed to the Nazi regime, which is seen as starting an unnecessary war. The occupation of German cities by the Allied army is characterized as a liberation.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • German schools teach the history of World War II, focusing on the Weimar Republic as a positive attempt at democratization and the mistakes that led to the rise of the Nazi regime.

  • Students are confronted with the atrocities committed by the Nazis through visits to Holocaust memorials and the study of literature and documentaries that emphasize the consequences of hate and violence.

  • Military details of the war are underplayed, with the emphasis instead on the ideology and practice of ethnic cleansing, as well as resistance against the Nazi regime. The defeat and post-war period are viewed as liberation from Nazism.

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