MORE DUMBING DOWN
Comic books replacing
factual history in German schools
First it was Allied wartime hate propaganda about “Nazi atrocities.”
Then it was follow-up by Hollywood, Steven Spielberg “docudramas”
and “Anne Frank” fantasy novels. Now it is comic books for a semi-
literate generation no longer capable of critical thought. Here, once
again, are all the old, stale, recycled stereotypes in a new format.
German children taught graphic truth about Nazis
By JESS SMEE
The Guardian, London Friday, 1 February 2008
BERLIN — German students were yesterday given a colorful insight
into the darkest chapter in 20th-century history, in the form of a
comic book on the Holocaust®.
A far cry from your average history textbook, Die Suche (The Search),
uses bold graphics to chronicle the fictional story of Esther, a woman
who unearths the truth about her Jewish family who were deported
“Through the comic format, the subject becomes more realistic and
closer to home for young people,” Julia Franz, from the Anne Frank
Zentrum, told the Guardian. “There is definitely a huge knowledge gap
among teenagers. Most know about the Third Reich but there are lots
of myths, prejudices and misunderstandings.”
The Anne Frank Zentrum, which works to boost awareness and
knowledge about the Holocaust®, has distributed the graphic novel
to schools in Berlin and North Rhein-Westphalia. It will be used by 20
classes of 13-15-year-olds. If it is a success, the material will be used
by other schools across the country. In a parallel project, schools in
Poland and Hungary are also using the book in lessons.
This rollicking George Lincoln Rockwell spoof
on the celebrated Holocaust® myth shocked
Jews everywhere when it appeared in the 1960s.
It is the second of two graphic novels illustrated by Eric Heuvel on the
subject. The first, A Family Secret, was published in 2003. The books,
which are both available in English, are the brainchild of the Anne Frank
House in Amsterdam, a museum housed in the building where Anne hid.
Die Suche’s creators took great care to keep the fictional saga factually
accurate [sic]. Historians were closely involved with the project and
many of the drawings are based on original Nazi-era photographs.
In Germany, which this week marks the 75th anniversary of Hitler’s
elevation to German chancellor, many fear that young people are
disinterested in or misinformed about this important chapter of history.
However, the Anne Frank Zentrum has found that using comic books
to liven up lessons is old hat for many teachers. “There was no initial
skepticism about the comic-book format for this purpose,” Franz said.
“In fact, it turned out that many teachers we spoke to had already
used Astérix in their history lessons.”
Comics to teach Germans about Nazis
Graphic Novel Tackles Taboo of the Holocaust
Tales of the Holohoax, a hilarious satire in colorful comic-book format,
is available for free via WNLibrary. Perfect counterattack against the Great Hoax.
Read Tales of the Holohoax