UK History Teachers Asked to Move Beyond Hitler

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An education watchdog asked history teachers in the UK to expand their teaching about German history beyond the current concentration on Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), a non-departmental public body, which maintains and develops the national curriculum in the UK, found "widespread disquiet over what is seen as the gradual narrowing and 'Hitlerization'" of history teaching in Great Britain.

In its widely trailed annual report on curriculum and assessment, the QCA, which is sponsored by the British Department of Education and Skills, issued guidelines on teaching pupils about the progress Germany made while moving from being an occupied, divided country to a reunited, democratic nation.

The "Hitlerization" of history teaching was, according to the QCA, affecting pupils' knowledge of other events in Britain's past and that of other European countries.

The focus on Germany's Nazi past attracted criticism from the outgoing German ambassador to London, Thomas Matussek, earlier this year.

Matusek had been concerned about the stereotypical portrayal of Germans in the British media and the fact that 80 percent of history students in England chose to study Nazi Germany in their finishing years of secondary education.

"It is very important that people know about it and study it in depth, but they also need to know that history does not stop in 1945," Matussek said.

"They need to know that the lessons drawn from this dark era of our past are being implemented and that German democracy is a success story which could also be taught," he said.

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