Why is Germany sending anti-bullying experts into schools?
It’s painful to think that anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise given its sick history. Antisemitism was at the core of Nazi ideology.
One pupil was subjected to anti-Jewish taunts and had swastikas stuck to him at John F. Kennedy school in Berlin and the Central Council of Jews in Germany have advised people to avoid wearing Jewish skullcaps in major cities. This is one of many there were 1.504 attacks across Germany last year by the far-right and let’s remember that there will be plenty that haven’t been reported too.
This isn’t unique to Germany though as religious bullying is widespread in other countries, including the UK.
But Germany isn’t sitting back and allowing anti-Semitism in classrooms to take hold which is why it is sending 170 experts into selected schools. German people are also standing up to anti-Semitism. They know they have a special responsibility to
The German family minister Franziska Giffey told Rheinische Post,
Children must learn respect and how to live together and peacefully. That is the foundation of a peaceful society.
Not surprisingly Germany treats anti-Semitism seriously and its anti-Semitism commissioer Felix Klein says the threshold has dropped and there “is a brutalised climate now, in which more people feel emboldened to say anti-Semitic things on the internet and street.”
One of the most powerful school trips I have been on is to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Nottinghamshire. It’s an odd place to have it really because its tucked out of the way and not exactly accessible but it is a must-visit.
This is the place to take children to make them think and to get them to stop in their tracks.
It can be a very emotional visit and it is inevitably shocking although the Centre make this a manageable visit with various age-appropriate learning programmes including ‘Breaking the Cycle – addressing prejudicial behaviour‘ aimed at pupils 9-17.
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum promotes an understanding of the roots of discrimination and prejudice, and the development of ethical values, leading to a greater understanding within society.
There is a very moving video which you can watch here and learn more about the amazing work they do.
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum is a special place and the only dedicated centre of its kind in the UK. It plays a unique role as a memorial, a museum, a place of testimony and a centre of learning. I do feel though that this needs to be in a large city where more people could access it – funding this should be top of our list to stop hatred from spreading.