Friday, August 10, 2007

I read a letter on a conservative blog to one of the German education ministers in response to the situation of the Dudek family in Hessen. The person who wrote this letter obviously felt very strongly about the German governments' approach (as do I). He wrote,

Two times in the twentieth century young men from our nation had to go to Europe to free innocent people from the oppression of the agents of German tyranny. My father's generation and his father's generation. Our men shed their blood and my father risked his life to rid the world of the dark heart of German evil that you now, once again exhume and parade for the entire world to see.

You are persecuting the innocent Dudek family for the "crime" of bringing up their children properly. Your violent interference in this sacred process is an affront to God and one that Americans readily recognize. Your impulse to imprison Christians is from the same spiritual source as your fathers' impulse to exterminate Jews.

Cease and desist.

Hearing of the cruelty you impose on a family that is, in every way, your superior, raises in me, as it will in all Americans (who love freedom more than you love oppression) a fury, when they hear of your deeds, that will not abate until you have made it right, or are properly imprisoned, or if your government should justify you in this, until they, themselves are overthrown and reside in the grave that has been prepared for the criminals of German National Socialism.

You don't seem to have learned your lesson as a nation. Can you ever?

My comment, which I posted on his blog, and which I am posting here, because I think it is an important issue for all foreigners to take note of when writing to German politicians, etc. about home education, is :

Well, as a homeschooler living in Germany (at the moment not officially, I am "visiting" my husband), I have to say that the effect of the tone your email is rather to put the person to whom you are writing on the defensive. If you do get a letter back from Frau Wolff (which I doubt), it will contain the usual waffle about how it is necessary to curtail homeschooling in Germany to prevent the creation of parallel societies and to ensure that children grow up into well-rounded, tolerant, functioning members of society. Those are the faulty accusations which need to be undercut.

Although it is true that the German Schulzwang originated with the Third Reich, and it is totalitarian in the extreme, I'm afraid that accusing German politicians and officials of Nazism is not going to help German homeschoolers. The officials don't care because they are just doing their job in the very German way of applying the rules as they are written and the politicians and judges are just going to think "These arrogant Americans are trying to tell us what to do again. Are they going to invade us next?" Politicians only listen to what their own voters have to say.

I suggest a new tack - pull the feet out from under these people by bringing up their arguments and then discounting them.

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