German schools are failing in educating students about the Holocaust, a new study by a political education center has found, as German youth, who one historian said use the word "Jew" as a common curse in daily discourse, are increasingly distant from the suffering of the victims of Nazism.
According to a study commissioned by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, a political education center known by its German acronym BPB, history courses no longer manage to teach Germany's younger generation of the horrors of the Nazis.
In the report, which appeared in the German educational magazine Focus-Shula, teachers are quoted as saying that they are having trouble impressing upon school children the horrors of the Holocaust, and have stated that their tools for teaching about the Shoah are not effective.
"The entire time we stood before the crematoriums of Auschwitz, the students took more interest in the types of pipes used to pump in the lethal Zyklon B gas, and not the fate of the Nazis victims," a teacher was quoted as saying.
In their words, this generation's students are less sensitive to the horrors of the Holocaust than any before.
The research also examines the role that immigrants have played in the changing attitudes towards the Shoah. Experts are quoted in the study as saying that there is a marked rise in the number of Muslims in Germany, many of whom see the teaching of the Holocaust as a veiled
endorsement of the policies of the state of Israel.
"Out of fear of the students' reactions, many of the teachers avoid teaching this chapter of history in order to not be viewed by some students as supporters of Israel."
"The word 'Jew' has turned into one of the most common curse words among students in both east and west Germany," said Gottfried Cosler, a Frankfurt-based Holocaust scholar.