On July 7, 2021

Teach history, all of it

Dear Editor,

As a university student in Germany in 1966-67, I learned that teaching the history of Nazi Germany in German schools was strictly prohibited, much to the outrage of the younger teachers and their secondary school students.

Students born during the Nazi regime and after were asking their parents, particularly their fathers, the painful question of what they had done during the war.

A student/teacher protest movement began in the late ‘60s to demand that the full story be taught and in 1968 the government relented and asked that a thorough curriculum on the Nazi era be taught in all schools.

As a teacher in a German high school in 1990-91 (the year of reunification), I had a good look at the curriculum and deep interaction with those teaching it, and I was impressed with how unflinching and detailed it was.

We must follow that pattern in our own country to seek the truth and reconciliation we so sorely need.

Norm Tjossem


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