Yellow hat instead of badge (archives)
Photo: AP

UK: Kids 'removed from families' in Holocaust 'game'

Teacher seeking to give 11-year-olds insight into horrors faced by Jewish children during World War II tells them nine of them would soon be separated from their parents and may end up in orphanage. Parents enraged, say children traumatized

A primary school teacher in Lanarkshire, Britain found a creative way to teach her students about the crimes of the Nazis: She told them that they would soon be separated from their families and might end up in an orphanage as part of a "Holocaust game".


The Daily Mail reported Wednesday evening that the pupils broke into tears when they were told that nine of them would be taken away from their families. The bizarre "game" was aimed at giving the 11-year-olds an insight into the horrors faced by Jewish children when they were sent to concentration camps during World War II.


The person responsible for this role play was none other than the school's deputy head teacher. According to the report, she told the shocked children that those who were born in January, February and March had lower IQs than other children, "due to lack of sunlight in their mother's womb", and that they had to put yellow hats on and be sent to the library.


The pupils' parents were enraged after hearing about the "game" and filed an official complaint about the project to the Lanarkshire council, saying how the "barbaric" role play left the traumatized children crying their eyes out in class.


'Children became very distressed'

According to the mother of one of the children, the teacher "told the children they would probably have to be sent away from their families and that their parents had been informed about this and knew all about it. When one child asked if that meant they might have to go to an orphanage, they were told that might be a possibility.


"At that point many of the children became very distressed. One boy kicked his chair over, one was angry and demanded to speak to someone in charge but most were crying on a scale ranging from mildly to severely.


"Their ordeal lasted between 12 and 15 minutes before the children were informed that it was all an act but that the role play would continue until lunchtime.


"My daughter and indeed no child needs to feel the terror, fear, panic, segregation and horror that a child of the Holocaust experienced during one of the worst atrocities in history to be able to empathize with them in order to produce good story writing," the mother said.


A South Lanarkshire council spokeswoman confirmed that a role play activity took place and said that it would be responded to shortly.


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.10, 07:28
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