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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Persecution of homeschoolers in Germany


In 1937, Adolf Hitler said:
"The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing." (Source: The Nitzkor Project)
The other day, A team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich because they refused to send their children to state schools. (See for example the Daily Mail report: Armed police turn up at family home with a battering ram to seize their children after they defy Germany's ban on home schooling)

It is not quite true to say that Hitler introduced the German ban on homeschooling. The laws of the third Reich extended laws that had been in place since Bismarck's Kulturkampf, and the Weimar republic re-introduced compulsory school attendance in 1919. After the war, compulsory school attendance made it into the German constitution. Nevertheless, it was the government of Adolf Hitler that introduced criminal penalties for failing to send children to school.

The story of the raid on the home of the Wunderlich family is harrowing and disgusting. Two quotations from the story:
When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said — "It’s too late for that".
The youngsters were taken to unknown locations after officials allegedly ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing them again 'any time soon'.
I don't think anyone need apologise for alluding to the darker years of German history.
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