Last December, British educators published a new history syllabus in response to German criticism. History taught to secondary school students will now focus on the Cold War instead of the Second World War.
Criticism of Britain’s history curriculum reached a peak last May, when, according to the Daily Mail, Germany’s outgoing ambassador to London, Thomas Matussek, said that English schools are “whipping up xenophobia by concentrating too narrowly on the 12 years of Nazi dictatorship” (Dec. 27, 2005).
Matussek’s concern was that more than 80 percent of English students choose to study Nazi Germany in their final years of secondary school. He said that the English need to know that Germany is aware of its past and is applying lessons drawn from its Nazi history. “German democracy is a success story which could also be taught,” he said (Deutsche Welle, Dec. 27, 2005). Germany routinely points to its 60 years of bloodless history following the Second World War as proof of its reformed ways and has on more than one occasion chastised the British for holding on to the past.
So under the new syllabus designed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (qca) for 11-to-14-year-olds, World War ii history will be sidelined in favor of Germany’s sanitary post-war history during the Cold War.
It is only fair to ask the cost at which these changes are being made.
This revisionist education springs from a dangerous disregard of British history as it relates to Europe. As Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote, “[H]istory is to the nation … as memory is to the individual. As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been and where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future” (The Disuniting of America).
It follows, then, that one price the British will pay for changing their secondary school curriculum to make it pro-German is a loss of heritage, creating a generation that is measurably more European and less British—meaning it will have a Eurofederalist viewpoint.
The Eurofederalist goal, promoted especially by Germany, is to forge independent European states into a political combine to rival the United States in power and prestige. For Britain to remain within the Union, its independent national identity, laws and way of life must give way to all things European. That is why its educational system, which once focused on national heritage, is being gutted—a trend that has been getting progressively worse for some years.
Even a decade ago, Dr. Nick Tate, then chief executive of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority in Britain (which later merged with another committee to form qca, the same organization that designed the recent change in the syllabus), warned that factual knowledge in British history classes was being sidelined, that heroes and heroism were being debunked, and nationalism was being regarded with distaste (Daily Telegraph, Sept. 19, 1995). Of great concern to Dr. Tate was that Britain’s sense of national identity was being undermined, even betrayed.
The rewriting of national history is coming at the cost of British will for Britain’s independent sovereignty. The nation’s young are being systematically trained to look upon Britain’s past with embarrassment—as a compendium of oppression rather than an example of democracy, freedom and civilization.
Indeed, it could be said that, thanks in large part to its educators, a generation in Britain is being lost to Europe by the willful destruction of national history.
What is truly ironic is the fact that Europe’s history really is filled with the kinds of atrocities the British are expected to believe about their own—but, as these latest curriculum changes illustrate, these are scooted under the rug.
Since the end of the First World War, Britain has devolved from a globe-encircling empire into a second-rate power. And educators have had their part to play, hollowing out Britain’s past and replacing it with revisionist history for an uninitiated general public. The result is that many British have come to be ashamed of a past empire they ought to be proud of.
Yet, ultimately, Europe forcing its identity down the throats of the British will reach a stopping point. The Bible indicates that the UK will not remain a part of the Catholic-dominated, German-led EU. At some point, probably over some crisis, Britain will either leave the Union or be kicked out.
If you want to learn more, you are welcome to request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy.