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Teaching the Holocaust to Muslim Germans, or Not
by Alison Smale
In Germany's ever-swirling debate about its past, it is a relatively recent, always delicate question: How do you teach Muslim Germans about the Nazis and the Holocaust?
The topic has bubbled up in recent weeks, after discussion in Bavaria about a proposal for all eighth or ninth graders there to visit a former concentration camp or the newly opened center in Munich documenting Nazi crimes.
In Bavaria today, only pupils in a gymnasium, the top rank of high school, are required to make such visits. As the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland approached in January, and as the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents has increased, Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has suggested that all ninth-grade students make such trips.
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