Leo at school under Nazi rule
You have entered Leo’s school on November 6 1938 in Berlin. Over the past five years the teaching programme has been rewritten to reflect hateful Nazi ideas of German superiority and racial struggle. More and more faithful devotion to the “Führer” and the “people’s community” overrides actual learning.
Racial antisemitism is now a subject at school called “Heredity and Racial Science”. This affects most of all classes in biology, but also German, history and geography–even in Jewish schools. Two maps illustrate Nazi Germany’s demands for a change of the borders set by the Versailles Treaty. The aim is to include all Germans speaking people in the Reich.
Hitler Youth and the National Socialist Teachers League try to shape the values and beliefs of pupils and teachers. As a result their behaviour has changed. They treat Jewish children as inferior outsiders in class.
Leo describes a terrible day at school. The teacher marked down his homework. Leo is singled out as a Jew whilst his friend Fritz is presented as an example of the ideal “Aryan”. Even more painful: Fritz’ behaviour has also changed. He enjoys Leo being marked out by the teacher. Whilst his classmates applaud Leo’s ordeal, the teacher sends Leo to sit at the back of the class.