We must use education to stop rise of the far right

We are increasingly in danger of forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust and rise to power of the Nazis, says SecEd editor Pete Henshaw. The damning results of the recent European elections prove that education has a key role in stopping the rise of the f

We must never forget.

There have been many times that this phrase has been used in relation to the Holocaust and our duty to teach our children the lessons from our past.

“But how on earth could we possibly forget the Holocaust?” I used to ask myself this question regularly.

The slow rise of racial tension and hatred in pre-Nazi Germany, the increasingly severe persecution of the Jews and other minorities in Nazi Germany, leading ultimately to one of the most horrific episodes in Europe’s history – a genocide that killed more than six million. How could we forget this? 

Today, I no longer ask myself this question. I fear that Europe is slowly forgetting the lessons of its past. In fact, the rise of the far and extreme right in modern politics is nothing less than frightening. The results of the recent European Union elections have brought the issue to a head. We saw a far right victory in France and significant gains in Sweden and Greece. The latter’s Golden Dawn party came third with 10 per cent of the vote. This is a party which reportedly has a third of its leadership in prison on charges of running a criminal organisation.

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