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France: Visiting memorial sites should become standard for schoolchildren


Should students go to the concentration camp for a standard visit? The French government has presented corresponding plans. The trips are part of a government program against racism and anti-Semitism.

Enlarge image

»See and recognize for yourself«: School class in the Auschwitz concentration camp (symbolic picture)

Photo: epd / imago images

In the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, the French government is focusing on raising awareness among schoolchildren.

In the future, young people should visit a memorial site related to racism, anti-Semitism or anti-Gypsyism at least once during their school career.

This is a plan presented by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in Paris on Monday.

"Education plays a key role, but in order to change mindsets, you have to see and recognize for yourself," she said.

Borne presented a package of measures from the central government with a total of around 80 points.

Organizations that campaign against discrimination welcomed the project, but some expressed skepticism.

The then government under President Emmanuel Macron had already drawn up an anti-racism plan in 2018.

But then hardly anything happened, said Maya Hagege from the organization "Managers de la diversité" in the newspaper "Le Monde".

The paper called the government's previous anti-racism package a failure.

In Germany, too, there are repeated debates about whether young people can be obliged to visit one of the extermination camps.

Former Minister of Education Anja Karliczek (CDU) spoke out in favor of such mandatory visits: “So that young people in particular understand what happened, it is necessary to visit the places of horror and pause in the face of crimes.”

The former president of the Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch, was skeptical in a 2018 SPIEGEL interview.

"The only camp where one can still really perceive the tragedy is Auschwitz," said Knobloch. "But such visits can only take place if they are prepared.

Young people need to know where they are going.

And if someone doesn't want to, you can't force them to do it.«


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-01-30

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