PA schoolbooks: WWII without a Holocaust
Palestinian schoolbooks discuss in great historical detail the events of World War II, but in all of the PA history texts the Holocaust is ignored as if it never happened. It is clear that PA educators made an active decision to leave the Holocaust out of history. The newest PA history book The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century (Grade 12), sets forth the military and political development of the Second World War; it cites Nazi racist ideology and restrictions placed on "inferior" non-Aryan nations, and even describes the post-war trials of "senior Nazi leaders as war criminals.” But it makes no mention of the Holocaust or of Jews, nor does it mention the crimes for which the war criminals were on trial. Teaching the history of the Second World War in detail without mentioning the Holocaust, persecution of Jews, or the genocide is a very efficient form of Holocaust denial. The Holocaust is simply expunged from history.
The following are excerpts from the PA history book for grade 12 on the Second World War and Nazism.
Book Title: The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, for Grade 12. Published in 2006 by PA Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Page 123: Lesson 3 – Racial Discrimination
“Race Theory evolved during the thirties of the previous century, when the Nazi movement appeared in Germany in 1933 and divided the nations into superior and others who were inferior. It espoused the superiority of the Aryan race, from which the Germans originated, passed racist laws and limited work positions to Germans alone, with the inference that [only] they are equal in their rights and obligations, while others are subject to special laws, which were imposed on them with the inference that they were foreigners in their [German] land."
Pages 23-48: Section Two – World War I and World War II
Page 37: Lesson 3 – The international circumstances between the two world wars (1918-1939)…
Page 37: The severity of conditions imposed by the peace accords…
Page 37: The economic crisis…
Page 38: The rise of dictatorial governments
“With the worsening of the economic and social crisis following World War I and the failure of the governments to deal with it, some of the peoples found themselves standing on the side of the dictatorial rule, which promised to find an effective treatment for their internal and external problems… This led to some states being governed by a dictatorial rule, for example Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.”
Page 40: Lesson 4 – World War II (1939-1945)
Page 40: The Immediate Cause: “The immediate cause of World War II was the establishment of a corridor, which connects Poland with the Danzig Port, of 25 miles in width, which disconnected Eastern Prussia from Germany.”
Pages 44-45: The End of the War (1942-1945)
[Teaching of the El Alamein battle; the defeat of the Axis forces, Japan’s defeat and the dropping of the atom bomb.]
Pages 45-46: The Peace Accords (1945-1947) – Potsdam Conference in 1945;…
“The Allied states established an international court to bring to trial the senior Nazi leaders as war criminals.” (Pg 46)
As is seen from this extensive education about the Second World War, the PA educators made an active decision to avoid teaching their students that there was a Holocaust.