German Justice Minister: Holocaust must be bigger part of migrant courses

More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany in the last three years, many of them fleeing conflict in the Middle East, causing concern that antisemitism could increase.

By REUTERS
December 15, 2017 17:22
2 minute read.
People visit the second job fair for migrants and refugees in Berlin, Germany.

People visit the second job fair for migrants and refugees in Berlin, Germany.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BERLIN - More emphasis should be placed on the Holocaust in integration courses for migrants, Germany's justice minister said, reflecting heightened unease among leading politicians about a spate of antisemitic acts including Israeli flag burnings.

More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany in the last three years, many of them fleeing conflict in the Middle East, causing concern that antisemitism could increase.

German police have reported protesters setting Israeli flags ablaze and using antisemitic slogans in Berlin and other cities in demonstrations against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In a piece for weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote that the Holocaust, in which the Nazis killed six million Jews, and its significance needed to become an even more important part of integration courses and migrants should be tested on it in the examination at the end of their course.

"The lessons from the Holocaust need to be one of the guiding ideas in those lessons and not just some chapter of German history," he said.

"Racism has no place in Germany, so everyone who wants to stay in Germany for the long term needs to be clear that we fight the neo-Nazis' antisemitism and we won't tolerate any imported antisemitism from immigrants either," Maas added.

Jens Spahn, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told Der Spiegel he thought immigration from Muslim countries was one of the causes of recent antisemitic demonstrations in Berlin.


Spahn said incidents in recent days "were related to immigration from a culture in which people are not prissy about how they deal with Jews and homosexuals."

Speaking at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday Germany needed to remember its historical responsibility, including the lessons of two world wars, the Holocaust, ensuring Israel's security and rejecting any form of racism and antisemitism.

"There's no end to this responsibility for people born afterwards and no exceptions for immigrants," he said, adding that those who burned Israeli flags did not understand or respect what it meant to be German.

In an interview with the Funke newspaper consortium, Israel's ambassador in Berlin Jeremy Issacharoff called for a ban on burning flags. "Anyone who burns flags questions Israel's right to exist," he said.

Stephan Kramer, the head of a state intelligence agency in the eastern region of Thuringia, warned in Der Spiegel that antisemitism was becoming "ever more uninhibited" and many Jews were too scared to identify themselves as such.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A JFUTURE school in India
February 17, 2019
Jewish Sunday school programs open in Europe and Asia

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA