A German politician has condemned education officials for failing to remove antisemitic stereotypes from school textbooks.
Jonas Weber of the Social Democrat Party (SPD) in Baden-Württemberg said that disturbing portrayals of Jewish people could still be found in the State’s educational resources, stating: “Unfortunately, we have the impression the Ministry of Education does not want to set the necessary priorities in the fight against antisemitic stereotypes in textbooks.”
It was said that some of Mr Weber’s primary concerns lie with medieval and Renaissance period texts and cites examples such as Martin Luther’s “Against the Jews And Their Lies” from 1543, a seventeenth-century Spanish Catholic text, as well as enlightenment thinkers including Voltaire, Feuerbach, Marx and Schopenhauer.
Dr. Michael Blume, the first antisemitism commissioner for the State of Baden-Württemberg, asked for the creation of a committee “to make textbook approval in Baden-Württemberg more transparent”, prompting the State’s Ministry of Education to analyse a sample of textbooks for examples of antisemitism, with the assistance of the Central Council of Jews and Baden-Württemberg’s Centre for School Quality and Teacher Training (ZSL).
However, Michael Kilper, Head of the Department for General Education schools, said: “The representations of Judaism are predominantly technically correct and appropriately differentiated.”