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German Youth Given False Picture of Hitler: Una Ware of Killing of Jews

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A television crew, visiting scores of West German classrooms to record student opinions on Nazism, found that nine out of every ten students 15 to 17 years of age had never heard of Hitler or, if they had, believed that on the whole the Nazi leader had done more good than harm.

Die Welt of Hamburg commented that “there is something rotten in German schools” and the Permanent Conference of West German cultural ministers announced that the problem would be considered at the next meeting of the Conference, according to the New York Times in a report today from Bonn.

The resulting television disclosed not only widespread ignorance among West German youth of the appalling events of the Nazi era but also that the students knew little about Germany’s present situation. A typical reply to the key question “What do you know about Hitler?” was: “Hitler revived Germany. He did away with unemployment and built the autobahns. ” Die Welt called such answers “alarming and scandalous. “

The highest estimate given by students on the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis was 30, 000. Many students said they did not know anything about Nazi killings of Jews, generally listed as a minimum of 6, 000, 000 victims.

The television crew asked a group of teachers why such ignorance existed and was told that the crammed curriculum gave little time to Germany’s recent past, dwelling mainly on ancient history.

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