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Nearly all teachers I worked with habitually excuse Hitler

Nearly all teachers I worked with habitually excuse Hitler

United Kingdom (UK)
News Date: 

I cannot say I’m surprised by the failure of Labour’s new, radical members to fully grasp the meaning of antisemitism. They are young, after all, and most will have gone to state schools. As an assistant teacher for 16 years, I encountered numerous examples of antisemitism being taught — sometimes unknowingly — in England’s classrooms. Nearly all of the teachers I encountered had uncritically absorbed antisemitic tropes at their universities and teacher training colleges, much of it dressed up as “anti-Zionism”.


Alas, this kind of prejudice is not confined to the state sector. A young acquaintance of mine who attends a posh private school told me his history teacher joked that “Jews won’t fight” after he was asked if Jews had fought in the First World War. I armed the pupil with facts: the Roman Legion Regi Emeseni Iudeai; Cleopatra’s two generals; how, in the First World War, Jews were the largest ethnic group to fight for either side; how Anne Frank’s father, as well as the young lieutenant who awarded Hitler his Iron Cross, had fought for Germany. The boy told the class, the teacher smirked and said, “Well, you learn something new every day.” Maybe so, but very rarely do you learn anything about antisemitism from teachers.