Sarkozy's Holocaust education plan slated

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A proposal from President Nicolas Sarkozy that French 10-year-olds should sponsor the memory of Jewish children who were murdered by the Nazis set off an outcry on Friday among psychologists, parents and the political left.

In an address to Jewish leaders, Sarkozy said that from the start of the next academic year pupils in their last year of primary school should be "entrusted with the memory of one of the 11,000 French children who fell victim to the Holocaust."

"Nothing is more moving for a child than the story of a child his own age, who had the same games, the same joys and the same hopes as him," Sarkozy said.

Education Minister Xavier Darcos explained that every child will be given the name of a Jewish deportee and "carry out a little investigation on their family, surroundings and the circumstances in which the child disappeared."

But an alliance of critics immediately poured scorn on the idea, accusing Sarkozy of usurping history, failing to understand the psychological impact on children, and stirring up resentment among other sectors of society.

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