The governing Christian Social Union party in Bavaria’s state government sparked a row over excluding Muslim students and other immigrant pupils from visiting concentration camps as part of Holocaust educational programs.
“There are a lot of children from Muslim
families who do not have a connection to our past,” said CSU politician
Klaus Steiner in the parliamentary debate justifying the exclusion,
according to a May article in the paper Main Post. We have to approach
this topic carefully with these children, Steiner added.
president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster,
called for an obligatory educational visit to a concentration camp for
all German students. The Haifa-born Schuster is a practicing physician
Opposition politicians sharply criticized the CSU,
which is also Merkel’s coalition partner in the Federal government, for
seeking to exclude certain ethnic and religious groups from
participating in the full Holocaust educational program.
Rosenthal, a Social Democratic politician in the parliament, told the
Main Post that official remembrances of the liberation of
concentrations camps or the end of World War II have led to a “numbing
ritual.” The visit to the “places of the perpetrators is essential for
It is important to clarify to young immigrants why they must take over responsibility for German history, he added.
last year’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas, German cities saw
attacks on a synagogue from German Muslims and outbreaks of violence
from young Muslims calling for the death of Israelis and Jews.
in the weekly German Jewish paper Judische Allgemeine, Lisa Scheremet ,
a teacher, urged the Bavarian state government to require all students
to visit concentration camps. She said it is necessary to help counter
“the wave of anti-Semitism and racism” that is spreading in German