Critics Blast Sarkozy's Holocaust School Plan

Prez wants each 5th grader to study a victim
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2008 12:53 PM CST
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy looks at photos of deported Jews in Europe during WW II, during his visit to the Shoah Memorial, or Holocaust Memorial in Paris last year. Sarkozy on Friday defended...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sparked a new controversy: The maverick leader is  now defending his plan to have every fifth grader study a French youth killed in the Holocaust. Critics, including Jewish analysts, warn the move could traumatize students. But one historian applauded Sarkozy's "courage" and said what children "see on television or in a horror film is much worse."

The students would be “entrusted with the memory of a French child-victim of the Holocaust,” Sarkozy said, but one philosopher called the plan “truly obscene" and added, “Every day the president throws out a new unhappy idea with no coherence.” Critics also blasted Sarkozy’s religious defense of the plan as a threat to France's church-state divide, the New York Times reports.