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Germany. Extremism in German schools – Bettina Stark-Watzinger Federal Minister of Education on the alarm bell

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In German schools, the problem of right-wing extremist events is apparently bigger than expected, wrote the portal of the daily “Die Welt”. It has been reported that the number of reported incidents is increasing.

The debate on right-wing extremist incidents in schools flared up after Laura Nickel and her colleague Max Teske – two teachers from a school in Burg (Brandenburg) – reported the problems in an open letter. They stressed that school management downplayed extremist incidents among students.

Increase in extremist incidents

Weeks after the publication of the letter, politicians are calling for nationwide action. This problem has a real, serious dimension – emphasized the portal of the daily “Die Welt”, adding that the number of incidents reported by schools in some federal states has increased over the past year.

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A significant increase in extremist incidents was recorded in Brandenburg. According to data from the Ministry of Education, in the 2021/2022 school year, schools reported nearly 60 incidents that were classified as anti-Semitic, xenophobic or right-wing extremist. There have been almost 100 incidents this school year up to the beginning of June.

Thuringia also saw growth. Last school year, 91 extremist incidents were reported. For comparison, in previous years there were less than 60. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the education authorities recorded 48 incidents in the current school year by mid-June.

“Most of the other federal states were not able to provide such data,” emphasized “Die Welt”. In Bavaria, Berlin, Rhineland-Palatinate, Lower Saxony and Saxony, the ministries of education do not keep statistics based on police data. However, the police only register cases that are related to a report of a crime.

“Alarm Signal”

– The events at the school in Brandenburg are a wake-up call. Freedom, democracy, tolerance and pluralism are the core values ​​of our society, including in schools, commented Federal Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP).

– Unfortunately, the term “you Jew” is often used in school yards. That is why we need a nationwide obligation to report anti-Semitic incidents in schools, said Federal Government Commissioner for Anti-Semitism Felix Klein.

“Welt am Sonntag” has reached all reports of right-wing extremist incidents that have been sent to the Ministry of Education in Brandenburg. “They are more serious than previously assumed. In May this year alone, schools reported 34 cases, 14 of them involving students performing the illegal Nazi salute, often in the classroom or on the school playground,” Welt noted. ” in the classroom, painting swastikas.

Another case involved several students singing songs from the Nazi era while other students accepted it and laughed. As they admitted, the song is known to them thanks to the TikTok platform.

The reports also revealed instances of anti-Semitism in the form of jokes told. An eighth-grader from Frankfurt (Oder) said, on the other hand, that “he will go to Israelto kill all Jews.” Another 8th grade student from Brandenburg an der Havel shouted on school grounds that “all Jews must be gassed.” Schools report not only cases of admiration for Hitler and hatred of Jews, but also of racist incidents.

What are schools doing?

Following the incidents, schools held educational talks with students and informed their parents. “Brandenburg’s Ministry of Education says it supports teachers and school leaders with further training. Trips to memorial sites, interviews with witnesses and Holocaust survivors were also encouraged,” Welt learned.

Laura Nickel and Max Teske, who wrote the alarming letter, announced a few days ago that they wanted to leave their jobs due to “constant threats”. According to Joerg Mueller, head of the Brandenburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the development of the situation in Burg should be viewed with “great concern”.

“The fact that the pressure is so great that those involved see their departure as the only way out can never be a good solution. All the more so that it will please right-wing extremists – summed up Mueller.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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