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June 1, 2015 2:34 pm

Major Jewish Group Appalled at Proposal to Exempt German Muslims From Concentration Camp Visits

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CSU MP Kurt Steiner called to exempt Muslim students and other immigrant pupils from mandatory visits to concentration camps. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Leading Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) expressed shock on Monday over a call by a Bavarian parliament member to exclude German Muslims and other immigrant students from visiting concentration camps as part of Holocaust educational programs.

“There are a lot of children from Muslim families who do not have a connection to our past,” said Christian Society Union (CSU) MP Klaus Steiner, justifying the exclusion in a speech to the Bavarian Parliament. “We have to approach this topic carefully with these children.”

SWC Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, registered the group’s objections in a letter to German Federal Education Minister Dr. Johanna Wanka saying her Bavarian coalition partner is promoting Holocaust denial with his proposal.

“To hear such language from a mainstream German politician reeks, at best, as Holocaust denial,” he wrote, according to a statement, “and, far worse, a German endorsement for such radical Islamist and Iranian intents, summed up as, ‘the Holocaust is a lie, let’s make it a reality.'”

SWC noted that Minister Wanka will attend the opening of the G-7 Summit in Bavaria on June 7, where she will announce Germany’s 20 million euro ($218 million) investment and five-year plan to create centers of Islamic theology at four universities: Tubingen, Frankfurt/Giessen, Munster/Osnabruck and Nurenberg/Erlengen. Samuels said the latter two establishments in Bavaria have a reportedly “checkered Nazi history.” He charged that the Islamic education programs, mixed with Steiner’s proposal, suggest a “recipe for Jihadism.”

“At a time of increasingly rampant antisemitism and even antisemitic terrorism across Europe, the Steiner Bavarian plan, together with your generous Federal Islamic education program seems a recipe for Jihadism, ISIS recruitment and incitement to Jew-hatred, to be inevitably followed by attacks on other traditional Nazi victims: Roma, gays, women and disabled,” he wrote.

SWC called on Minister Wanka to “unequivocally reject” Steiner’s initiative and ensure that lesson plans by Muslim instructors include an “adequate Holocaust model, such as a mandatory visit to the Yad Vashem memorial museum in Jerusalem.”

The Jewish group also drew attention to the Ministry’s website explaining that it is part of its integration policy to “train religious educators and specialized religious scholars … who will go on to work in mosques.” Muslims make up the third largest religious group in Germany numbering 4 million people, following Catholics and Protestants, according to the website.

“By suppressing the concentration camp visit for young Muslims, Germany may evoke for some, iconized memories of the 1930’s Fuhrer-Mufti alliance as a paradigm for contemporary Islamism,” Samuels concluded.

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  • Maybe this Bavarian official is saying this because he knows the truth: https://vimeo.com/69991225

    • Dave

      Maybe you’re an ignorant racist.

  • Buck Wheaton

    Progressive ideology dictates that German society will be improved when people who have no desire to assimilate are invited to embed themselves in Germany an live at government expense. This is even worse when such people believe that their invasion is a form of conquest. Within a very few generations, Germany as a historic culture will cease to exist, and Progressives will think it is good thing.

  • Iwona Kowalczewski

    What about the other “traditional Nazi victims” — ethnic Poles? They are not chopped liver; they were the second largest group of victims in the German camps in occupied Poland. Millions of ethnic Poles were killed by the Germans both inside and outside the camps. Have some respect.

  • Greg Chojecki

    Dear author,
    why do you mention “Roma, gays, women and disabled”, but forget to mention Poles and Russians? There were much more Polish or Russians killed in the Nazi German concentration camps than gays or Roma.
    Please correct the mistake.

  • Aleksander Jarosz

    In your article you do not mention the vast amount of Polish citizen that have been exterminated mainly by Germans during WW2. As much as 17% of the Polish population, or six million (!) people have been murdered during the occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1945, out of which ca. three million have been of Jewish faith.
    Please include the notion about Poles in your article, as otherwise it is not historically correct.

  • Jim Przedzienkowski

    In addition to the Jews,Roma, gays, women, disabled, killed it would help if it said During WW2 Germans killed 2.7 million Polish Jews . killed 3 milion Poles , kidnapped 200 thousand Polish children , ordered 3.1 million Poles to forced labour in Germany

  • Art Levine

    According to Herr Steiner; “There are a lot of children from Muslim families who do not have a connection to our past.”
    Let me make plain what Dr. Samuels only hints at. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem spent much of WWII in Berlin as Hitler’s guest. After the war, he lived in Jerusalem where he retained his position as Grand Mufti and used that position to stir up hatred. That seems like a pretty solid connection.

    Most decent Germans have faced their past, however difficult that may be. It’s time for our Muslim friends to show the same kind of courage.