Admin l Friday, January 27, 2023
BERLIN – President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster has suggested that a visit to concentration camp memorials should be made compulsory for all prospective history teachers.
In a statement issued ahead of International Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, the council also said that politicians should create the conditions to facilitate such visits with the necessary context for schoolchildren.
“The eyewitnesses of the Shoah are leaving our world, which brings concentration camp memorials in particular into focus in order to keep the memory of the unprecedented human crime of the Shoah alive,” Central Council President Josef Schuster said in Berlin on Thursday, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.
These authentic sites must be financially secured and also protected from vandalism and desecration, he said.
Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 each year commemorates the liberation of the German extermination camp Auschwitz in 1945.
Schuster made the connection to Adolf Hitler’s assumption of power 90 years ago, on January 30, 1933. “Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Reich Chancellor was the decisive building block towards the murderous and totalitarian Nazi state and the Shoah,” Schuster explained.
Today, he said, is not a situation like 1933, but the events back then showed that “democratic values must be actively fought for; democracy must be militant.”
In a time of several simultaneous crises, conspiracy narratives were rampant, he said. Jews would be made scapegoats again and again. “The greatest threat to democratic orders and open societies in the 21st century comes from within them,” Schuster warned.