Team 'Hitler' students forced to research Nazis
29 June 2005, SINGAPORE - The Israeli and Germany embassies on Wednesday praised Singapore's education minister for making eight students who named their team 'Hitler' research the actions of the Nazi ruler of Germany.
29 June 2005
SINGAPORE - The Israeli and Germany embassies on Wednesday praised Singapore's education minister for making eight students who named their team 'Hitler' research the actions of the Nazi ruler of Germany.
The 15-year-olds are not going to be berated, but will present the results of their research to the students at their schools, said Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The teenagers were participating in a camp for members of brass bands in two secondary schools and chose 'Hitler' as their group name and idol. About 60 students took part in the four-day activity.
In a joint statement, the embassies expressed support for Tharman's view that it is essential that students learn and understand the "horrible crimes" which were committed under Nazi rule and the lessons which have to be drawn from them.
The statement expressed shock that the students' naive decision was not halted by sound advice of the adults involved.
The two ambassadors offered to establish contacts between the Education Ministry and institutions in Israel and Germany with special expertise in this area.
The students "were clearly unaware of certain basic facts of history, particularly the fact that Hitler committed major crimes against humanity," Tharman said on Tuesday.
Hitler's crimes were crimes of race, Tharman said, an issue which Singapore students should be very sensitive about, given the emphasis that the city-state places on racial harmony.
The current school curriculum does not place enough emphasis on certain basic historical facts, Tharman noted, indicating the ministry would turn the incident into a learning experience.
Subject: German news