University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Hain, Jack / Status of Jewish workers and employers in postwar Germany
(1949)

Conclusions,   pp. 9-10 PDF (1019.3 KB)


Page 10


Trade unions themselves are valuable training ground in the
practice of democracy, Labor is now trying to carry out an extensive
educational program in its own schools, both for young workers and
adults.
German trade union leaders emphasized the importance of educating
the people in the political aspects of democracy. They want to do this
so far as possible through their own schools and training program, but
they also consider it essential that labor enjoy greater representation
in all phases of the educational system. Many criticisms are heard of
the present day universities and teachers' colleges of Germany. Staffed
to a large extent by conservative teachers of the o.ld school and
attended mainly by frnmer members of the Army, young people from the
upper and middle classes who have had little opportunity to absorb
democratic principles in the lower stages of their education, the
universities and teacherst colleges tend to be centers of political
reaction and intellectual sterility.
The trade unions see the solution to this problem in a far greater
participation by working class youth in university life and to achieve
this end they propose representation of organized labor on governing
bodies of universities, also teachers colleges, and State assistance
for young workers students.
It should be the responsibility of organized labor to use its
entire influence to encourage the kind of community relationships that
will make the Jews feel that they are welcome in Germany as full-
fledged citizens.
Finally, the Jews themselves have a responsibility in this problem.
Those who are here must attempt to forget what has gone by, and make an
effort to identify themselves with the general German community. The
losses of the Jews have been incalculable and their reluctance in
establishing a rapport with their German neighbors who, in the main,
were at least silent accomplices to the wrongs to which the Jews were
subjected, is understandable. Yet, this rapport will have to be
established if the Jews are to expect the Germans to accept them on
a parity with themselves.
The major task in the reconstruction of a democratic society in
Germany must be undertaken by the German people themselves,  It iAt
be for them to develop the iniative which will enable them to overcome
the prejudices inculcated by twelve years of Nazi propaganda. Only
then will they have the right to claim the equal place they desire
among the democratic nations of the world.
- 10 -


Go up to Top of Page