The Mail has missed a trick in its story this morning about teen awareness of Auschwitz. The paper's feigned indignation that 23% of children 11 to 16 year old don't know what Auschwitz was is deeply worrying - but not for the reasons the Mail cites.
At 11 and 12 I suppose I was vaguely aware that the Nazis had done something wicked to the Jews, and even by 16 I think I was only conscious that 6m Jews had been killed in the Concentration Camps in a non-specific way; it was much later that I became aware that there was a difference between the Concentration Camps and the six extermination camps, that Auschwitz was both, and that Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, Chelmno and Majdanek as well as Auschwitz II were all located in Poland.
So that 77% of 11 to 16s know what Auschwitz was is either actually quite disturbing or a triumph for Labour's political interference in the history curriculum. Take your pick. What the hell are we doing teaching 11 year olds about mass extermination? Do their teachers take them through each stage from the unloading of the cattle trucks to the selection to the undressing to the gas chamber and the cremators? And how the heck can they understand the context?
When 53% of pupils leave school without 5 decent GCSEs, I find the Auschwitz statistic quite horrifying. Almost as horrifying as the distortion and mis-teaching of the Slave Trade; when I throw into conversation these days that over the centuries of the transatlantic Slave Trade, the Europeans hardly enslaved anyone at all I'm met with incredulity. But it's true. See this post.