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The Government Warns of New Racial Arrogance (December 12, 1979)

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Kühn spoke out decisively against any and all “national classes” in schools, which have been demanded above all by Greek parent associations and Greek government representatives – also in Stuttgart. “We don’t want to bind anyone to us,” Kühn said, “and we don’t want forced Germanization either. But national classes are part of ghettoization.” The preparatory classes for foreign children, which, in practice, often became “national schools” for the entire period of their compulsory schooling, should be limited to one year, he said. They should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the German school administration. “I don’t want any Islamic schools in which a Khomeini ideology might be taught,” he said to enthusiastic applause. Kühn demanded that 600 million DM be made available annually for his integration program from preschool to vocational training.

Taking the Kühn memorandum and the new political approach to the problems of non-German families and their children as their point of departure, the fifteen working groups discussed a list of demands that was oriented towards direct assistance in daycare facilities and schools, in vocational training, and in work with youths and parents.

Massive and tumultuous disagreement emerged in only one working group, where discussion was largely monopolized by Greek parent associations that had traveled to Stuttgart in groups from Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt. Against the wishes of other Greek and Turkish representatives, they narrowly pushed through a rejection of integration and the political goals of the “Kühn memorandum.” They adamantly insisted on Greek national classes, with their primary justification being the planned return of the children to Greece at some future, albeit unspecified, time. On Sunday, when the working group leaders presented the results of the discussion, these parent associations dominated the proceedings again, since many of the other participants from Saturday had already departed. Their vociferous protest against integration triggered a flood of press releases by other participating groups of foreigners and parent associations who spoke out in favor of equality and integration.

Source: Jutta Roitsch, “Kühn warnt Deutsche vor einem neuen rassischen Hochmut” [“Kühn Warns Germans of a New Racial Arrogance”], Frankfurter Rundschau, December 17, 1979.

Translation: Allison Brown

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