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In a despicable antisemitic incident, schoolchildren in Washington DC were made to reenact scenes from the Holocaust, and were told that the Germans were angry “because the Jews ruined Christmas.”

Suspended for a sick antisemitic act, a staff member at the Watkins Elementary School in the US capital was caught for making third-grade children reenact scenes from the Holocaust, including getting them to pretend to dig mass graves and shoot victims, and telling them the Germans were angry “because the Jews ruined Christmas.”

The children had been in a library class working on a self-directed project, when the female staff member, who was not identified, made them reenact scenes from the Holocaust. In an interview with Fox News, one parent stated, “There was a lot of sobbing and crying and distress and then momentarily we got an email to say that the children had reenacted the Holocaust. This included the trains, dying in gas chambers, playing Hitler, and mass graves. I think it’s traumatic, this is a terrible corruption of a historical trauma that was inappropriate for eight and nine-year-olds to learn about in this way and I am outraged.”

Another parent said that when the children asked why the Germans did this, the staff member said it was “because the Jews ruined Christmas.” The instructor reportedly told the children not to tell anyone about it, but they told their homeroom teacher.

Principal Scott Berkowitz responded in an email, saying, “I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor instructional decision, as students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war, or murder.” 

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington Chapter condemned the incident and said it would be offering “resources and support to help promote healing and education. We’re horrified 3rd-grade students were instructed to re-enact scenes from the Holocaust. Simulation activities trivialize the experience of victims and often reinforce stereotypes.”

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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