Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Germany: Nazis ingrained German kids with lifelong hatred of Jews

The Times of Israel reports:

Joseph Goebbels
Anti-Semitic propaganda had a life-long effect on German children schooled during the Nazi period, leaving them far more likely to harbor negative views of Jews than those born earlier and later, according to a study published Monday.

The findings indicate that attempts to influence public attitudes are most effective when they target young people, particularly if the message confirms existing beliefs, the authors said.

Researchers from the United States and Switzerland examined surveys conducted in 1996 and 2006 that asked respondents about a range of issues, including their opinions of Jews. The polls, known as the German General Social Survey, reflected the views of 5,300 people from 264 towns and cities across Germany, allowing the researchers to examine differences according to age, gender and location.  By focusing on those respondents who expressed consistently negative views of Jews in a number of questions, the researchers found that those born in the 1930s held the most extreme anti-Semitic opinions — even 50 years after the end of Nazi rule.  [...]

While Jews who survived the Holocaust vividly recount the abuse they suffered in school and at the hands of fellow pupils, non-Jewish Germans mostly describe their school years as peaceful and fun.
Ortmeyer said Nazi educators wove anti-Semitic propaganda into every school subject and extra-curricular activity, even giving students “projects” that included scouring church records for the names of Jewish families that had recently converted to Christianity. These were later used to draw up lists of Jews for deportation to concentration camps, making students unwitting accomplices in the Holocaust.  More.

Via Pacific Standard Magazine:
“Nazi indoctrination—with its singular focus on fostering racial hatred—was highly effective,” economists Nico Voigtländer of the University of California-Los Angeles and Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesmore


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