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Holocaust Dropped From Some UK Schools 1286

Posted by kdawson
from the careful-you-might-offend-somebody dept.
dteichman2 writes "It appears that some UK schools are ignoring the Holocaust. A government-backed study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, found that some teachers are reluctant to teach history lessons on the Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. Additionally, similar problems are being encountered with lessons on the Crusades because these lessons contradict teachings from local mosques."
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Holocaust Dropped From Some UK Schools

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  • Interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Himring (646324) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:49AM (#19252109) Homepage Journal
    I have seen posts violently modded down on /. for evening mentioning the holocaust or holocaust denial. It is interesting that it is now a full story here. I always felt the global usership of /., and differing opinions, had something to do with it....

    • That Is Pathetic. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by saudadelinux (574392) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:11AM (#19252557)
      Did their clue bag get cut? Are they friends with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or David Duke or something? By avoiding teaching about one of the worst examples of intolerance and hatred in human history, they contribute to the problem. And let's face it, there are a lot of reports of Muslims in the UK becoming increasingly radicalized, because they are learning hatred and distorted history in the mosques. The Brits are cutting their own throats.
      • Re:That Is Pathetic. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:29AM (#19252921)
        And let's face it, there are a lot of reports of Muslims in the UK becoming increasingly radicalized, because they are learning hatred and distorted history in the mosques. The Brits are cutting their own throats

        Or at least thay would be if it were true.

        Here's a hint for you left-ponders -- the Daily Mail is the UK
        equivalent of Fox: a racist rag which will print anything which puts
        muslims, women, gays, trades-unionists or the working class in a
        bad light. Check snopes before posting a story from them.
        • by homey of my owney (975234) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:37AM (#19253151)
          Not sure why this was submitted anonymously. It certainly is right on the money though. Of course the troubling part is, that even one school would choose to drop the lesson.
        • by K'Lyre (600056) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:53AM (#19253505)
          I still think there should be a Godwin's Law counterpart for invoking the name of Fox News.

          I call it K`Lyre's Law.
        • by ATMD (986401) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:07AM (#19253773) Journal
          Who modded this flamebait?

          This deserves +5 informative - I read the summary, became briefly angry, and then thought, "wait - I bet that link is to the Daily Mail". A quick mouseover later and I am smiling a wry smile.

          The Daily Mail will blow any story out of proportion, and put the most sensationalist spin on it possible, because it knows that if a story makes someone angry, they're more likely to buy the paper to find out more about it.

          For the record, if I thought the story was true then I would be just as angry as any other reasonable-minded person. But because of its source, I'm strongly inclined to disbelieve it's anywhere near as bad as the summary makes it out to be. Also, I'm not going to RTFA as I don't want to give the bigots advertising revenue.
        • by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:27AM (#19254121) Homepage
          Flamebait? Don't know if that mod was done in (misguided) good faith or not, but I certainly don't agree with the downmod either way.

          To quote one article [guardian.co.uk]

          The Mail's founder, Lord Northcliffe said his winning formula was to give his readers "a daily hate" - and it does.
          It says a *lot* that the first thing that I thought of after reading the summary was to find out whether the story came from the Daily Mail... and that I wasn't remotely surprised when it did. The fact that the Mail's style and biases were obvious even via a secondhand interpretation of the story says a lot about it.

          More here. [google.co.uk] Can't say whether they're as bad as Fox News or not, because I haven't seen a significant amount of its output (due to living in the UK). However, I personally wouldn't trust the Daily Mail as far as I could throw it.

          Anyway, there is probably some truth in the story, but I expect it's been exaggerated, distorted and "enhanced" by selective reporting. For example, I remember reading a story about ecstasy in New Scientist a few years back. It was all about a study which claimed that there were serious effects of the drug on the brain. However, the story also included plausible-sounding criticism and rebuttal of the study by other equally reputable scientists.

          I saw the same story in the Daily Mail later that day. It also included the details about the study and the possibly dangerous effects of the drug, and was written in a moderately "reputable" manner. However, unlike NS's report, they didn't hint that there was *any* scepticism about the findings, let alone print those views. Result was that the effect of the story was very different, more one-sided and scaremongering. Fact-by-fact, the Daily Mail story was correct, but it lied by omission.

          Mind you, the Daily Mail is full of scaremongering health stories; that's a staple of the front page for them. Along with reports on how something the government has done is going to affect the value of your house, and right-wing political half-truths.
      • by JRGhaddar (448765) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:30AM (#19254171)

        By avoiding teaching about one of the worst examples of intolerance and hatred in human history,
        The denial of Palestinian human rights, their expulsion from their own homes, their denial of basic resources (water), economic strangulation, and the British government's key roll in creating and supporting those problems are also not taught in schools.

        And it won't be for years, and probably never will, because whether people want to openly admit it or not... Arabs are considered animals and there blood is not as valuable as Jewish or Western blood.

        And let's face it, there are a lot of reports of Muslims in the UK becoming increasingly radicalized, because they are learning hatred and distorted history in the mosques.


        ... And let's face it, there are a lot of British children growing up with this mindset about Arabs because they are learning hatred and distorted history from their own schools.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:26AM (#19252873)

      have seen posts violently modded down on /. for evening mentioning the holocaust or holocaust denial.

      I think you're inferring emotion, based upon your own preconceptions. Moderation is a numerical system. Things are not "violently" moderated. They might be "quickly" or "repeatedy" moderated. Can you show me an example of a post that mentions the holocaust or holocaust denial and which was not either completely offtopic, or an emotional appeal instead of a logical argument?

      Now don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of discussion of the holocaust. My grandfather did not like to talk about the war, but he made a point of telling all of us kids that the deniers were full of crap because he saw the furnaces full of bones and the camps. For the most part, however, the topic is not pertinent to subjects being discussed on Slashdot and an impartial audience probably should mod them down, regardless of nationality.

      • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

        by PatrickThomson (712694) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:24AM (#19254071)
        I have no sympathy for holocaust deniers. Let me quote a good man:

        Almost all of the survivors, verbally or in their written memoirs, remember a dream which frequently recurred during the nights of imprisonment, varied in its detail but uniform in its substance: they had returned home, and with passion and relief were describing their past sufferings, addressing themselves to a loved person, and were not believed, indeed were not even listened to. In the most typical (and most cruel) form, they interlocutor turned and left in silence. [Primo Levi: The Drowned and the Saved]

        And the diatribe issued by a member of the SS to camp inmates upon arrival:

        However this war may end, we have won the war against you; none of you will be left to bear witness, but even if someone were to survive, the world would not believe him. There will perhaps be suspicions, discussions, research by historians, but there will be no certainties, because we will destroy the evidence together with you. And even if some proof should remain and some of you survive, people will say that the events you describe are too monstrous to be believed: they will say that they are the exaggerations of Allied propoganda and will believe us, who will deny everything, and not you. We will be the ones to dictate the history of the [camps] [Simon Wiesenthal: The murderers are amongst us]

        The nazis had such an effective shredding campaign, we only know the death toll is between 4 and 8 million. Inmates themselves were responsible for furnace operation and ash disposal, teams being regularly disposed of to prevent information leaks. The retreat at the end of the war was accompanied by systematic recall/slaughter of prisoners, and was given more importance than millitary strategy. Holocaust sympathisers are making the holocaust perpetrators win from beyond the noose. And yes, you may invoke godwin's law.
        • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Himring (646324) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:18PM (#19256205) Homepage Journal
          The retreat at the end of the war was accompanied by systematic recall/slaughter of prisoners, and was given more importance than millitary strategy.

          Indeed. Some estimates calculate that one possible reason Germany lost the war in the east was due to none other than their "cleansing" campaign. It took away men and resources as well as solidified the populace in the east against them. Had they done the opposite, and behaved as the liberators from Russian oppression that there were first hailed as, the outcome could have been drastically different....

    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:39AM (#19253173) Homepage Journal
      Well, I don't recall my own high school history being terribly accurate on the subject. It was presented in the context that 6 million Jews were killed in concentration camps for no reason other than being jewish. There was never any mention that the Nazis also killed 9 million non-jews (including Poles, Russian POWs, Gypsies, other christian sects like Jehovas Witnesses, etc), or that half of those 6 million jews were killed for being Polish as much as any other reason. I'm no scholar on the subject, and this post isn't meant to shed light on anything except that the typical high school education dumbs the whole complicated mess down to 2 things: Concentration camps and 6 million dead Jews. Except that the vast majority of the dead weren't actually killed in concentration camps. Again, let me repeat my point: high school history takes a complex event and dumbs it down to a couple of multiple choice questions. I'm inclined to think that a more accurate and detailed history lesson would draw fewer objections. The above paragraph takes a couple of stats haphazardly lifted from Wikipedia and contains no serious scholarship. No flames please.
      • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by manifoldronin (827401) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:23AM (#19254053)

        It was presented in the context that 6 million Jews were killed in concentration camps for no reason other than being jewish. There was never any mention that the Nazis also killed 9 million non-jews (including Poles, Russian POWs, Gypsies, other christian sects like Jehovas Witnesses, etc), or that half of those 6 million jews were killed for being Polish as much as any other reason.
        I'm not a scholar on the subject either, but I think you are missing the point. The Nazis killed a lot of other people (even more than the 6 million Jews as you mentioned), but most of those killings weren't made based on their races or whatever general category they happened to fall in. As far as I know, the only groups that the Nazis determined to systematically exterminate were the Jews and the homosexuals. That, instead of the shear numbers of killings themselves or any comparison between them, is what I think fundamentally important as far as teaching the kids is concerned.
        • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

          by Mattintosh (758112) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:31AM (#19254187)
          Actually, Hitler was quoted as saying that he was going to exterminate Jehovah's Witnesses, too.

          Oddly enough, JW's were the only group given the opportunity to sign a paper denouncing their faith and walk away. Very few of them did it.
        • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

          by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:47AM (#19254469) Homepage
          As far as I know, the only groups that the Nazis determined to systematically exterminate were the Jews and the homosexuals.

          Gypsies were also the target of systematic extermination.

        • by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:55AM (#19254607) Journal
          The Gypsies were persecuted with as much fervor as the Jews. According to Wikipedia, 500k to 1m died. While it's not as large a gross number, proportionately, it's just as high if not higher. Interestingly, the Roma were the original Aryans who had traveled rather than staying in Germany. So the Nazis, in a rare show of coherency, only allowed part-gypsies to be exterminated but allowed full-blood Roma regular status. Later, it was argued that no one could have not become corrupted and the Roma were uniformly exterminated.

          If they weren't victimized as systematically, why so much official propaganda and policies on the subject? See Wikipedia:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porajmos [wikipedia.org]
        • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

          by happyemoticon (543015) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:56PM (#19255753) Homepage

          I know I'm making a mistake attempting to have a rational discussion of this on the internet, but here goes.

          The most prominent primary target of the Nazi's killing spree was indeed the Jewish people, and their story of systematic, legitimized oppression, and how the general German populace went along with it by degrees is the most harrowing. It teaches us that when you start institutionally marginalizing a people or class of persons, even if only slightly at first, you go down a road which may lead to something truly horrific.

          That having been said, the current state of holocaust education effectively denies the deaths of the millions of non-Jews by focusing exclusively on the deaths of the Jews. It invalidates their suffering. You yourself implicitly said it was unimportant. And thus, people grow up thinking that genocide is some kind of rare thing which confines itself to one people at a time, and not only is this not correct, but the message is injured. Think I'm wrong? Ask an average American high school kid about Darfur, or the Armenians, or the purges in the Soviet Union, or Cambodia.

          I would rather teach kids that if they start letting intolerance into their hearts, not only is it going to be the people of x super-vilified minority who go against the wall, it's going to be your little sister with a bum leg, your evangelical uncle, the sad beggars in downtown, those two boys holding hands, anyone who voices a dissident opinion, and everyone you know who's not white, brown, yellow, or whatever the uber-race is supposed to be.

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:49AM (#19252113)
    I guess if your "beliefs" include Holocaust denial, then you're excactly the person who needs a history lesson.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LS1 Brains (1054672)
      Amen, the Muslims can deny anything they want, it doesn't change the truth. Kinda like how they say they're peace loving, and not a barbaric people. Last I checked, peace loving people weren't strapping bombs to themselves, women, and children and sending them into areas populated with civilians. *Note: This is a stereotype. I understand not *EVERY* Muslim is part of the problem. However, stereotypes exist because a large portion of the target population exhibits a certain quality, character, or charac
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:59AM (#19252315)
        A recent study in the US showed that 80% of Muslims were opposed to using suicide bombing as a tactic to defend Islam. I was shocked about the remaining 20%.
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:08AM (#19252507)
        Doesn't have to be a large majority. Just a vocal minority that causes the problems. There are a lot of peace-loving muslims around the world.

        (FWIW, I am not a muslim.)
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:06AM (#19252463)
      I believe it was Bill Maher who said a couple of years ago:

      "Let us not become so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance".

      I think this is that kind of a scenario. And, as always, complacency will only lead further into oblivion. If this is what is happening, then it really is time for the UK to wake up. Really, that time has already come and gone, but if they finally do realize what is happening, we can forget that they're late to the party, and embrace the fact that they showed up at all.

      However, the hard question is what is there to be done about this. Frankly, I am hard-pressed to see a solution to this crisis. As the percentage of the people who espouse these beliefs rises within the UK population, they are going to feel increasingly empowered, both by the virtue of their numbers, as well as due to the apparent utter impotence of the British in the face of their assault.
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate.hotmail@com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:20AM (#19252759) Homepage Journal
        "Let us not become so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance".

        I think that's a perfect statement here. To me, this situation is unbelievable.

        "The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'."

        By that logic, schools in the US shouldn't teach about slavery, fearing a confrontation of an 'anti-black' sentiment among racist hicks.

        I don't think any reasonable person could argue that the holocaust didn't happen. If there's a strong anti-Semitic view in the mosques of England, I suppose there's nothing we can do about that. But that doesn't erase the fact that the holocaust happened and school children should learn about it.

    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:12AM (#19252587) Homepage
      This kind of thing comes from the misguided view that tolerance means all beliefs have close to the same value. That is simply not true. Tolerance means leaving people alone as long as their beliefs are not hurting others. It's an essentially libertarian principle.

      Ignoring the scientifically-confirmable, historical reality of the holocaust hurts others. Lots of others. I don't think it's going too far to say that a pedagogical approach like this is *catastrophic to any society that implements it. You could end up with an entire generation that doesn't know where fascism tends, and what the real human cost of demagoguery is.
    • Fear of Islam (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheSciBoy (1050166) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:13AM (#19252593)

      This is one of the reasons why I changed my mind on the Danish cartoons that enraged the muslim world so much.

      Fear cannot be allowed to dictate what we say or teach.

      If you say what you think and someone threatens your life for saying it, they have broken the law in most civilized countries. Send them to jail.

      In this case it's not even a matter of belief. It's a matter of fact. The Holocaust happened and denying it is in itself illegal in some countries. Rewriting history is a very serious thing, even though it's being done on a daily basis. History is there for us to learn from so we do not repeat it. We better learn our lessons or we're bound to make the same mistakes over and over.

      • Re:Fear of Islam (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Vicissidude (878310) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:36PM (#19256479)
        The whole Danish cartoon reaction in the US didn't appear as fear of reprisal. Maybe some of it was, but certainly not all of it. The lack of printing appeared as a capitulation to diversity. If the press was afraid of anything, it wasn't that Muslims would attack, but that the press would look bad by appearing intolerant.

        Nevermind the fact that the press couldn't accurately and objectively tell the Danish cartoon story without showing the cartoons. No reader or viewer had any idea what the problem was about without viewing the materials themselves. In today's day and age, accurately and objectively telling the news is a secondary objective for news stations. Their primary goals are diversity and inclusiveness in order to keep their viewers and advertisers happy and the money rolling in.
    • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:22AM (#19252805)
      Will you teach the prophet then ? He's long dead, yet here's what he said :

      Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him." [usc.edu]

      Obviously muslims teach this to children starting at 4-year-olds.

      Don't forget ... this is slashdot ... this is to be buried deep with the ratings system, and whoever reports this is to be fanatically attacked for shaking up the "all-cultures-are-equal" idea. Even if it means killing the messenger.

      After all there is nothing wrong with islamic ideology, right ? Well, except that they kill dozens of their own children in hopes of wounding a single Jew. Except that they beat everyone into submission, except their complete opposition to free speech, except ... all values that slashdot pretends to defend.

      Maybe it's just that you don't know about repression (english translation of the arabic word "islam"). So here's a message in hopes of making this clear.

      Obviously it won't stop at Jews. They are equally against Christians, just not as public, equally against cripples (because allah punished them for a reason you know), and, God forbid you'd ask what "allah" does to gays (they are to be buried alive on sight, even if some man were to be raped by a gay attacker, he is to be buried alive). That is what the prophet did. That is what every muslim is striving to do.

      Illustrations
      -> gaza/westbank
      -> iraq
      -> afghanistan
      -> mecca (non-muslims are to be killed on sight in mecca in case you didn't know)
      -> cartoon crises
      -> ...
  • urgh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:50AM (#19252121)
    Disgusting if true, but the Daily Mail is the UK's equivalent of Fox News...
  • Old news. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:51AM (#19252139)

    We already have schools ignoring real science to avoid offending radical Christians.

  • by MECC (8478) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:51AM (#19252143)
    Why does accommodating religion nearly always harm society?
    • by UncleTogie (1004853) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:17AM (#19252691) Homepage Journal

      Why does accommodating religious fanatics nearly always harm society?

      Fixed with a reminder: Allowing someone to practice their beliefs is good. Insisting everyone switch to yours is not.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:51AM (#19252145) Homepage Journal

    some teachers are reluctant to teach history lessons on the Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.
    Britian has several airports from where it is possible to book [one way] flights to countries where these students might find their surroundings more in harmony with their delusions.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:52AM (#19252157)
    And I thought American schools were bad for "teaching the controversy" of Intelligent Design.

    What happened to "lest we forget"???

    You know, there's verifiable evidence of the Holocaust. Photos. Movies. Graveyards. Camps. Survivors.

    This is a dark day for the human race.
  • by svendsen (1029716) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:52AM (#19252165)
    So we don't want to talk about the killing for 6 million (mainly Jews but of course we have gypsies, POWs, political prisoners, etc) because we will offend some radical Muslims. So by NOT talking about it we have offended the Jewish people, the Jewish faith, and anyone who thinks not talking about the mass murder is a bad idea.

    I am sure I can see the reasoning though (being serious now): If we piss of the Jews they will complain vs. if we piss off the Muslims the radicals will riot, burn things, etc.

    The day we stop discussing facts/history because somebody may be offended is the day we are all screwed.

  • Revisionism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ngarrang (1023425) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:53AM (#19252179) Journal
    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But, they must first be taught that history.
  • by ronanbear (924575) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:53AM (#19252185)
    It was an April Fool's joke. And it was done in bad taste (what do you expect from the Mail).

    It's a pretty notorious one. Cmon editors.
  • by BabyDave (575083) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:56AM (#19252241)
    Not true [bbc.co.uk]. The example given is that allegedly one school didn't choose it as GCSE (Key Stage 4 - 14-16 year olds) coursework, for that reason. However it's still compulsory to teach the Holocaust in Key Stage 3 (11-14 year olds).
  • by Control Group (105494) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:57AM (#19252273) Homepage
    I honestly don't know which is worse; teaching "Intelligent Design" as science, or ignoring the Holocaust as history.

    On the one hand, you're denying the validity of the very scientific method itself, which can't possibly be a benefit to the future of your society. On the other, though, you're denying the atrocities societies are capable of, even in our "enlightened" era. If you don't know it happened and don't know it can happen, that has to make it more likely for it to happen again.

    I suppose, upon further review, that if I had to choose, I'd rather skip the Holocaust than teach ID. The Holocaust could probably be replaced with the Khmer Rouge, Stalin's purges, and Darfur to accomplish the same goals of warning. You lose a bit of connection, since all those examples are "somewhere else" in a way that Germany in the early 20th century isn't, but they're still perfectly good examples of what can happen.

    Moreover, ID is certainly more widespread in this country than Holocaust denial is in the UK, so it's certainly a more immediate threat.

    Still and all, the fact that I even have to think about this is ridiculous.
  • by Psmylie (169236) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:58AM (#19252287) Homepage
    You shouldn't change what you teach because someone may be offended. You should only change it if it is wrong. I'm all for historical accuracy. Get the facts right, make sure you can prove it if challenged, and teach to that. If someone gets offended by that... well, they're idiots. Let them be angry, rant and rave. If they want to pull their kids out of class, then fine.

    That said, I am always amazed when I watch the History channel and see how much was left out of or glossed over in the US history textbooks, especially regarding the Revolution. I'm sure that its to give kids the idea that America is great, noble, etc. etc. but I don't think that ignoring our own history (especially the mistakes we've made) does anyone any good.

  • by Oxygen99 (634999) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:58AM (#19252291)
    I read something insightful on Slashdot recently that suggested whenever you read something so inflammatory that you just have to comment, then you're only hearing half the story. When you click the link in the summary, please bear in mind that the Daily Mail, or The Daily Heil as its often referred to, is the most rabid of Britain's unpleasant right wing press with a history of making up and exaggerating facts in order to appease the xenophobic, homophobic, narrow-minded, bigoted, evil little people that make up their core audience.

    Plus the story is dated the 2nd of April so I'm not sure what the submitter was trying to achieve other than to provoke the flamefest that will inevitably ensue.
  • This is Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by shma (863063) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:10AM (#19252553)
    Not only is this 'story' over a month old, but it is 95% bullshit. Snopes, though, has you covered [snopes.com].

    Quoting: 'There are no plans to stop teaching the Holocaust. Indeed, the education department's plan seems to be ensuring that it is taught everywhere. A spokesman for the Department of Education and Skills (DES) maintained that "The Adjegbo report on citizenship [a different report authored by Sir Keith Adjegbo and released in January 2007] said key British historical events must be taught" and that while "the national curriculum is a broad framework and there is scope for schools to make their own decisions, teaching elements including the Holocaust and key British events will be compulsory."'
  • It's the Daily Mail (Score:5, Informative)

    by Peregr1n (904456) <ian.a.ferguson@gmail.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:14AM (#19252643) Homepage
    I'm British. I'm guessing most of the readers here are not. PLEASE don't assume that the Daily Mail is representative of, or in touch with, any part of British culture. They are a populist tabloid who don't shy from publishing any old headline-grabbing bollocks without the slightest grain of truth. It was the Daily Mail, as I recall, who published a list of paedophiles, most of whom turned out to be paedotricians. Without even checking the source, I can reliably recommend that the Slashdot editors pull this story; there won't be an ounce of truth in it. Believe me, if there was, it would be all over the mainstream press, not just one particular tabloid.
  • Daily Mail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Steauengeglase (512315) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:31AM (#19252985)
    Am I the only person who sees this story coming from the Daily Mail as just a little odd, given their support for the Nazis during the pre-WWII era? I tend to take their views with a grain of salt (for example are the schools who decline to teach the Holocaust publicly or privately funded?).

    With all of that said I find the concept of "balanced treatment" in an educational environment revolting. Plurality's sake shouldn't lend itself to falsehoods, lies and distortions and if a fact hurts someone's feeling I'm sorry, but maybe they should just accept that the Earth is round, not flat.
  • by OpenSourced (323149) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:51AM (#19253447) Journal
    Let's be real. The "history" we learn is nothing more than the history we like to learn. That's always been so, and UK teachers just adapt to new circumstances with new pupils that won't like the old history. There are many facts that are either ignored or twisted to fit the needs of the political whim of the moment.

    The Nazis were defeated mainly by the USSR, not by the USA, even if that's not what you learn. The Japanese _were_ defeated by the USA, but the way of doing it, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of civilians in an atomic inferno is presented as rather the right thing to do, or, at the very least, as a great technical achievement. The holocaust is much remembered, and special laws passed to forbid the denial of the fact, but other much bigger killings go as footnotes in history books. Japanese don't teach about "comfort" women. The paper of England in the slave trade is usually hushed in the classrooms. Spain is indignant when Ben-Laden speaks about it being part of Al-Andalus, because in its history books, it's defined as a re-conquering, even if the people that re-conquered it had nothing to do with the people that lost it in the first place. France prefers not to speak too much about torture in Alger. Israelis will tell you that it's all right if they took the land from Palestinian people after WW2, because it "belonged" to them, somehow. I doubt they would return the land to some previous inhabitants of it, if the situation ever came up.

    And so on. There is not such thing as "objective" history, and those teachers are just recognizing it. After all, we must remember that George Orwell, who came up with the idea of automatic history rewriting, was British.

Your own mileage may vary.

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