Now first let it be stated that the French have a dismal history regarding the Holocaust. When you look at pictures of the roundups in France search for a picture of a German official participating in this shameful act. You won't find one. It was all conducted by French.
For years after the Holocaust France refused to confront this aspect of its collaborationist history. So it should be refreshing to learn of a French leader such as Sarkozy breaking with that tradition and ordering this educational reform.
However from the news stories I have read it seems that this was done without forethought, planning, or consultation. Nor am I at all convincd that this is the best way for a child to fully understnad what happened. Can a child at age 10 really grasp this? I don't think Jewish kids aged 10 should be engaged in such a project. How much more so a French kid....
The announcement was further complicated by the fact thqt Sarkozy 'wrapped his plan in the cloak of religion,' he blamed the wars and violence of the last century on an “absence of God” and calling the Nazi belief in a hierarchy of races “radically incompatible with Judeo-Christian monotheism.”
All that this does is thrust Holocaust education, which must be handled professionally and not politically and certainly not in this haphazard fashion, into a debate not of its own making.
What a mess and what an unnecessary one.