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When and how do you discuss the Holocaust with kids?

(160 Posts)
nevergoogle Mon 29-Apr-13 15:28:58

DS1 is 8 and loves history, "especially the stuff that actually happened" he says. smile
This term he is learning about WWII at school and he's really enjoying the subject. He has complained that the teacher doesn't seem to know much and keeps talking about sweetie rations.
We went to the book shop and I found myself vetting any of the WWII books for any graphic images of the holocaust, which is sensible I think, although it got me feeling like I was enforcing some sort of holocaust denial.
So when and how do you broach this subject?

I remember being about 10 when I discovered some graphic photographs in a history book and I remember finding it very shocking so I don't know if this was too early, or just not the right way to learn about it.

For me, it's such an important part of human history so needs to be discussed at some point, but when?

learnandsay Wed 08-May-13 16:35:42

You don't know anything about my views. All I'm saying is the Nazi Party no longer exists.

If you want to have a conversation with me about modern fascists then that's a different topic.

breadandbutterfly Wed 08-May-13 16:35:57

learnandsay - you have claimed that the term 'Nazi Party' is trademarked, preventing modern parties from using the name. This is crap palpably wrong.

Modern parties can and do use the name.

You seem to be tying yourself in knots to avoid the real issues - that Nazism and what it represented is a present as well as past danger.

breadandbutterfly Wed 08-May-13 16:39:29

If you prefer to call them 'modern fascists', I'm not very bothered about the terminology, as I've said. (Though why you think Mussolini isn't going to get hot under the collar about his trademark rights too, I don't know.)

'Modern fascists' (makes them sound a bit like a trendy youth movement to me, like the New Romantics or something, but never mind) are on the rise in many countries across Europe and elsewhere. This is something that should concern any normal person to whom the democratic process matters.

learnandsay Wed 08-May-13 16:41:19

You'll have to quote me on that one. I can't remember saying that. I do remember explaining politics 101 to you on why you can't register the name of a party already registered.

If you want to misquote me a bit more here are some other things I haven't said:

I haven't said:
Mars is orange.
My left toe is semicircular.
My granddaughter is purple.

I'm sure the world is full of other things that I haven't said too. Please feel free to misquote me on those too.

breadandbutterfly Wed 08-May-13 16:53:01

What have I quoted you on that you have not said??

breadandbutterfly Wed 08-May-13 16:54:14

And what is your response to my comments on modern fascists (your preferred term apparently)?

learnandsay Wed 08-May-13 18:19:40

I don't know about your comments, but here's what I think about modern fascists.

a) There are lots of them all over Europe and further afield.
b) In America you have all sorts of supremacist and hate groups. I'm not sure how many of them have enough of a political ideology to be called fascist. My limited view of the KKK is that it's what's left behind from a gang of rednecks who once liked lynching black people and burning crosses. But they're not allowed to lynch black people any more and I don't think they're happy with just burning crosses. Anyway, from what I can tell they're not much more than a bunch of thuggish morons.
c) In Britain you have the BNP, EDL who are supremacist, thuggish morons and UKIP, who are too refined to be thuggish morons (and do have a political ideology, well MEPs and councillors, anyway. Perhaps they'll now buy an ideology from a thinktank.) And they went to nice schools, or some of them did. But they're still supremacist, even if they're very nice about it.

What do I think about them all generally? I wouldn't pee on them if they were burning. So, there you are. Now you know.

WidowWadman Wed 08-May-13 18:42:15


"What are you gibbering on about? Why would I wish to start one of these parties when they already exist? But if I wish to start a Nazi party in Germany, I and it will be banned - not because one already exists and it's been 'trademarked' by the 'original' Nazi Party, but because what they did was so horrific that the Germans sensibly do not want to confer democratic respectability on their ideas. It does not mean that the ideology they represented has disappeared, relegated to history. It just means that Nazis in Germany can't join a party of that name if they wish to, nor take part in the democratic process. Nazis in other countries can and do."

That's not entirely true. Whilst incitement of hatred and holocaust denial is illegal, attempts to ban right wing parties such as the NPD as anti-constitutional have been unsuccessful so far. So people can and do still join nasty parties in Germany, too. Thankfully, they're not very popular, though.

breadandbutterfly Thu 09-May-13 10:55:59

Thanks, learnandsay. Still wondering what you meant on this page when you said:

"You'll have to quote me on that one. I can't remember saying that."

Who quoted you on what?

I still disagree with your basic surmise, that supporters of the far right are just thugs with no coherent ideology - as that tends to imply that therefore nothing can or should be done about them. As I stated upthread, clearly what happened in Nazi Germany cannot be explained by labelling the entire population of a highly civilised country as 'thuggish morons' - clearly some would have fallen into that category but many, many more did not. It is to remove culpability and therefore responsibility from those involved by suggesting they are basically too thick and/or mentally ill to know any better.

The educated German upper/middle class at the time certainly could have known better. That things happened as they did has lessons for all of us, including those of us who are not in any way 'thuggish morons'.

Don't forget that in many countries, including England, the leading proponents of fascism were the upper classes.

learnandsay Fri 10-May-13 06:21:31

I've talked about specific thuggish morons, EDL, BNP, KKK and refined supremacists, UKIP. I've talked about past and now defunct fascist parties and groups who aren't political parties at all, (ie you can't vote for them.) I've been specific and related each of my comments to a particular point. What you've continuously done is dragged a point usually similar to something I've talked about (but not always) into a wide generalisation and then disagreed with it!!!

You're not arguing with me. You're arguing with one of your many interpretations of things I often haven't said in the first place. If you want to disagree with a specific point of mine then please cut and past the exact text of what I've said and then disagree with my point. Don't interpret (always wrongly) what I've said and then go off on an irrelevant rant.

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