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Berlin schools testing WWII comic book

Berlin schools are introducing a comic book on World War II.

“The Search,” a 60-page book presented by the Anne Frank Center in Berlin, will be used for seventh- to 10th-graders. It deals with National Socialism, the persecution of Jews, Nazi concentration camps and death camps.

Thomas Heppener, the director of the Anne Frank Center, told Der Spiegel magazine that teachers are having trouble conveying the World War II era in schools. He pointed to the fact that eyewitnesses are dying out and students are bored by the topic, complaining they already have heard too much about the Holocaust.

A recent survey in Germany suggested, however, that German students of all backgrounds remain interested in the theme and the teacher is important.

Dutch artist Eric Heuvel in “The Search” personalizes history through a fictional Jewish girl from Holland who wants to discover her family’s history. Heppener said Heuvel consulted closely with experts on the Holocaust and concentration camps, including details of what the prisoners wore.

Fifteen teachers will test the book through June in top high schools, as well as schools with a large proportion of students with an immigrant background.

American Jewish cartoon artist Art Spiegelman dealt with the Holocaust in a comic form in his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Maus” series, a best-seller in Germany.

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