French Teachers Union Protests Test Questions on Nazi Germany

The French Teachers Union is up in arms over a high school history examination given in Toulouse which, they say, extols the economic progress made by Nazi Germany before World War II.

“The subjects (of the questions) led the pupils to praise Hitler’s regime,” the union contended in letters of protest to President Francois Mitterrand and the Education Ministry.

But Pierre Cadars of the ministry’s Toulouse branch in southwest France said the union had gone too far.

“The pupils had occasion, during the academic year to study Nazism, and they learned perfectly well that behind the appearance of economic success, there lurked a monstrosity,” Cadars said.

He added that, after all, the questions had not been written by French Holocaust rejectionist Robert Faurisson.

But the teachers were not satisfied. They said it is impossible that the commission controlling the curriculum and the persons in charge of choosing examination subjects were unaware of the kind of answers the questions elicited.

“We assume it was not a mistake, especially as those who wrote the questions belong to the local branch of the Ministry of Education, which the extreme right wing is known to influence,” they wrote.

Five exam questions related to the economy of the Third Reich included parts of a speech by Hitler to the Reichstag in 1939 and charts showing the improvement of Germany’s economy since the Nazis took over in 1933.

The students were required to base their answers on that material which, the union says, conveyed the message that Hitler set Germany on the road to recovery from the depression and that fascism can resolve economic problems.

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