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Axel Antoni @antoni_UK
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ It happened again this week. A ten year old daughter of a friend asked me, the only German she knows, who I wanted to win World War II. As if it was a football match.
2/ Around this time of the year primary schools are teaching years 5 & 6 about the war and the Blitz. Which is a good thing. But getting the question, and not for the first time, who I wanted to win the war raises the question about the quality of the syllabus.
3/ War is not a black and white thing. And neither is the rise of totalitarian regimes. Hitler and his NSDAP during the last free elections in Germany did not reach a majority but 37% of the vote share.
4/ Germany was becoming a Nazi state but by no means did all Germans turn into Nazis. But back to the question, who did I want to win World War II?
5/ The resistance against the tyranny of the Nazi regime never stopped. There were many now famous resistance groups and fighters. But there were also 100 of thousands unknown & unnamed Germans who resisted.
6/ It is estimated that by 1945 over 500k Germans were in 'protective custody' - 'Schutzhaft' - imprisonment without trial for political resistance. And Ernst Louis Jarmers, my grandfather, was one of them.
7/ To finally answer the question who I wanted to win World War II: the allied forces of course. It was not only the British troops freeing my grandfather but the allied forces freed the German people from the tyranny they voted in in 1932.
8/ and the reason for this thread, how is the war taught in school. The question of who I wanted to win the war shocks me every time. World War II, like any war, is not a game. War means suffering and personal loss on both sides - and I think even 10 year olds can be taught that.
9/ The British syllabus is poor. Focusing on the achievements of the British war effort but not on the suffering war causes on both sides. It's #ArmisticeDay tomorrow. I'll be thinking of my grandfather Ernst Louis Jarmers & the brave British troops who freed him and Germany /end
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