The Holocaust and the History curriculum

I may be late on this one, but since it dropped into my inbox yesterday I thought I’d mention it.

There’s an alarmist email doing the rounds about the Holocaust being dropped from the uk history curriculum because it offends Muslims. With a subject line:
you’d be right to be suspicious. Here’s what it said;

Recently this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it “offended” the Moslem population which claims it never occurred.
This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six millionJews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!
Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be”a myth,” it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!
Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.

Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.
Please don’t just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along –


Yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s absolutely wrong.

The rumour started following a government report on the teaching of history which showed that at KS4 GCSE some teachers were avoiding historical events which would be emotive or controversial in their area. The report cited one history department in a northern city which decided not to teach the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework.

The report was picked up at the beginning of April by The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Guardian all of which identified the difficulty of teaching some aspects of the history curriculum where there are strongly held views among the local community about these events.

On the specific issue of the Holocaust, it remains a coursework topic at GCSE and is compulsory at KS3 (11’s – 14’s). It will remain a part of the history curiculum at KS3 in the new syllabus which comes into force in September 2008.

The original report is here.
Here’s how the BBC reported the issue.
There is a balanced and informative response from the Holocaust Education Trust

Whilst on the subject of email hoaxes, if you haven’t already done so you should check out which keeps tabs on all of these eRumours and checks them out to see if they are true or not.

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