Swedish language class teacher in Holocaust row
The Local · 26 Feb 2015, 15:04
Published: 26 Feb 2015 13:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2015 15:04 GMT+01:00
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The teacher claimed one of the students questioned the Holocaust after watching a news segment about the persecution of Jews in an SFI class at adult education centre Kärnan in Helsingborg, newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad has reported.
But the student said he was misunderstood and claims the teacher yelled at him.
The school co-ordinator later criticized the teacher over the incident – which prompted the student to leave the classroom – according to a recorded meeting about the incident quoted by Helsingborgs Dagblad.
“The student talked to me and he said he felt misunderstood and insulted and painted as a Holocaust denier and Nazi,” the co-ordinator is quoted as saying on the recording.
“What he said was to deny the Holocaust,” replied the teacher.
“Yes, but he felt unfairly treated after he had been accused of that.”
“He wasn’t accused. I only told him it is not okay to say that the Jews just lie.”
The co-ordinator went on to later add: “You should remember that what we think of as history is the history we've been taught. When we have students who have read other history books there's no point setting facts against each other.”
School principal Lena Stenbäck told The Local on Thursday morning that she was to meet with the teacher on Tuesday to discuss the incident, which she said had left the student "very upset".
“I can’t say that the teacher has done anything wrong – I’m sure he tried his best. But a direct conflict in front of all the other students can so easily get out of hand and our opinion is that it is better to deal with that outside of class.”
“The class was about Auschwitz, so they were supposed to discuss it. If a student denies the Holocaust you should challenge that – it’s part of our mission as a school – but this is a matter of how you challenge it.”
The Holocaust has been a hot topic in Sweden recently, after Jews voiced concern of a fresh wave of anti-Semitism following the fatal attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen.
Last week, Swedish Radio was forced to apologize after an interviewer asked the Israeli Ambassador to Sweden if Jews themselves were responsible for anti-Semitism.