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Press release No. 002 / 01/07/2016 "Dealing with Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet Mein Kampf is a great challenge" - Bavaria's Minister of Education, Ludwig Spaenle, uses a multi-stage approach when dealing with Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet
MUNICH. Bavaria's Education and Science Minister Dr. Ludwig Spaenle comments on the handling of Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet "Mein Kampf" in schools and in political education. For him, "dealing with Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet Mein Kampf represents a great challenge". Dr. Spaenle is planning a multi-stage approach when dealing with the inflammatory pamphlet “Mein Kampf” in schools and historical-political educational work. In detail, Minister Spaenle made the following statements:
1. At the end of 2015, the copyrights to Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet “Mein Kampf”, which had been transferred to the Free State of Bavaria by the Allies, expired. For the Bavarian State Government, after intensive discussions with victims of the National Socialist tyranny and their relatives, it is clear that for them a new edition of “Mein Kampf” would represent a deep injury.
2. Adolf Hitler's inflammatory pamphlet “Mein Kampf” has “seditious content, as it incites hatred against Jews, calls for violence and arbitrary measures against them and their human dignity is attacked. The unchanged reprint for the purpose of dissemination as well as the dissemination of the disgrace 'Mein Kampf' are therefore also fundamentally punishable from the point of view of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice. "
3. As a historical source, "Mein Kampf" contains Hitler's ideological foundations for his radical and inhuman goals: from the elimination of the democratic constitutional state to anti-Semitism, which resulted in the extermination camps in the Holocaust, to the ideology of living space and the war of aggression associated with it.
4. On the basis of the freedom of science, the Institute for Contemporary History will publish a historical-critical edition of “Mein Kampf” in January 2016.
5. The Bavarian teachers, especially in the subjects of history and social studies, have long been experienced in dealing with sources of National Socialism. The spectrum ranges from ideological writings such as Hitler's “Mein Kampf” and Rosenberg's “Myth of the 20th Century” to speeches, diaries and memoirs by Nazi henchmen to audio and visual documents, files and magazines. Many sources are available either completely or in excerpts in historical-critical editions.
6. A historical-critical source work with the disgraceful writing “Mein Kampf” can, under the responsibility of the teachers, with the appropriate professional and didactic preparation, also enable pupils to have direct access to this key source of contemporary history in the classroom.
In contrast, unchanged reprints of the disgraceful "Mein Kampf" have no place in Bavaria's schools.
7. When processing these sources, subject-specific philological, historical-critical and didactic-pedagogical methods are used. The roots of the content of the inflammatory pamphlet must be explained, the content contextualized and processed in a distancing manner. The inhuman worldview of Hitler and the NSDAP must be unmasked so that the inflammatory pamphlet “Mein Kampf” cannot be misused politically or ideologically or misunderstood.
8. The Bavarian Ministry of Culture therefore relies on a multi-stage strategy:
a) For the publication of the historical-critical edition of the Institute for Contemporary History, the Bavarian Ministry of Culture is giving schools first tips on how to deal with the inflammatory pamphlet “Mein Kampf”.
b) In cooperation with the Bavarian State Center for Political Education, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art will be offering its own advanced training events for multipliers from February, where teachers can share their experience of dealing with contemporary sources, including "Mein Kampf", discuss and, if necessary, define additional information requirements.
c) The submission of a handout that discusses the issue with a view to "Mein Kampf" in the school and gives appropriate tips for teachers and multipliers is planned by the Bavarian State Center for Political Education.
d) The Bavarian State Office is also working with experts to prepare a new, multi-volume history of National Socialism. This also deals in detail with “Mein Kampf” in connection with Nazi literature and gives didactic suggestions for school and political education.
Of course, publications by specialist scientists and materials from relevant institutions such as the Federal Agency for Civic Education can provide assistance. For more information, for example from the Federal Agency for Civic Education, see:
Dr. Ludwig Unger, Tel. 089-21862105
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