By Adam Smulevich
The number is relatively small, but the signal is still alarming. Ten Italian classrooms, among the 138,000 who responded to a specific request from the Italian Ministry of Education indicated that among their ten favorite books was “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler. In some of cases, it was even in first place.
“It is an abhorrent fact. It cannot pass over in silence. Whatever the matrix that has led to this crazy situation, there is a clear responsibility: the responsibility of teachers who did not intervene to stop their students. This is the most serious aspect of all,” stressed historian Anna Foa in her article published in the daily newsletter, Pagine Ebraiche 24.
“There is definitely something wrong. And indeed I do not think that the best way to bring our schools to a more modern condition is the launching initiative of a ‘hit parade’ style” says Anna Segre, teacher. Themes such as those treated in the questionnaire, Segre adds, “should be the subject of a serious debate in the classrooms, with a more detailed explanation.”
Offering her viewpoint is also university professor Silvia Guetta: “Reading Mein Kampf is not a fault, nor prohibited: it is a book that, for the consequences it has had and his meanings, is very dangerous. But one must know the language of danger and violence. It is imperative to understand how absurd ideologies of discrimination and destruction can be built”.
After the publication of the results, the Ministry immediately started an internal inspection.