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Hitler Youth

by | 16th, March 2006

‘“STOP ZIS MENTION OF WAR,” says the Star in its best sitcom German. Too much talk of the war is no good at all. For you, the war is over etc.

A modern German, and friend.

This, of course, is not the paper’s view, but that of Dr Keith Crawford. Yes, that Dr Crawford, of Edge Hill International Centre in Liverpool. That’s the place the Star claims “trains more secondary teachers than anywhere else in Britain”.

What a secondary teacher is, we are unsure, but Edge Hill trains lots of them, and being experts in matters secondary, Dr Keith is ideally placed to talk about the war.

Says he: “For the British, defeating Germany on the battlefield and on the football pitch are comparable national triumphs”. We refer you to the popular ditty ‘Two world Wars And One World Cup (doo-dah, doo-dah)’.

But it must end. Such behaviour is detrimental to good education. As Dr Crawford continues: “Our research shows pupil understanding of Germans and Germany is totally negative from quite a young age.” (At which juncture in the piece the Star produces an illustrative shot of a typical German, who may or may not look like Adolf Hitler, speaking to the dewy-eyed German masses.)

Such a narrow view of a country and its peoples is, as the Star says, damaging the campaign to tackle hooliganism at the World Cup. So it must end.

But Dr Crawford does concede: “We are not suggesting we ignore the obscenities of war.” That would be wrong. It is just that we stop talking about it.

And instead of illustrating stories about Germany with shots of Hitler and his Herrenvolk, we must choose images of other Germans.

Like Eurovision Song Contest winner Nicole, that footballer with the curly hair who got spat at, Hans Tilkowski, Horst-Dieter Höttges, Willi Schulz, Wolfgang Weber, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Helmut Haller, Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath, Uwe Seeler, Siegfried Held, Lothar Emmerich and Harald Schumacher.’



Posted: 16th, March 2006 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink