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Spain: Should Holocaust Studies be Mandatory?

The Spanish parliament is preparing to vote on an amendment that would make Holocaust Studies obligatory for all Spanish students

By: Daniel Koren
Published: September 12th, 2013 in News » World
A classroom in Spain

JTA reports that the Spanish parliament is currently preparing to vote on a new amendment, which, if passed, would make Holocaust Studies a mandatory prerequisite for all Spanish students.

According to the Spanish publication El Pais, the People's Party (a Spanish political party) had suggested the new bylaw for approval to Spain's lower house.

If approved, the amendment would alter the nation's current education law, and introduce a course focusing on genocide during the Holocaust, particularly on the 6 million Jews who were murdered at the hands of Nazi officials.

The course would be offered at "various stages of basic education."

The bylaw is one of many new initiatives in Spain, as part of the Organic Act for the IMprovement of Educational Quality, to promote peaceful conflict resolution, and put a particular emphasis on the importance of human rights and democracy.

Spanish news agency Europa Press reports that one Isaac Querub, the President of Spain's Federation of Jewish Communities, said the amendment "certainly represents progress," however, he would have preferred a "more comprehensive amendment, explaining the general history of the Jewish people."

"Unless the Holocaust is contextualized, it will give a distorted image of the history of the Jewish people," he added.

Querub noted that the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) had recently conducted a survey on anti-Semitism in Europe, and found that such behaviour in Spain was more common than in other European nations.

"We believe that a better understanding of the Jews and their historical development limits bias," he said to Europa Press.

It has not been confirmed yet when the vote will take place.

Related articles: Jewish News, Holocaust Studies, Shoah, Spain, Spanish Jews
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