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How is WW2 Taught in Germany? Here’s What to Know

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World War II is a sensitive topic because it caused the loss of millions of lives and world chaos. But it is usually taught in history subjects in our schools worldwide. 

And some people with a stereotypical mentality would always blame Germany since they started the war. But how is WW2 taught in Germany?

World War II History Lessons

bombing going on in World War II

In Germany, history is a compulsory subject in schools. Students learn about World War II in great detail. This can be both interesting and informative, giving them a greater understanding of the events.

Many World War II history lessons are taught in Germany. Germans also learn about the importance of democracy and how it can help to prevent future wars.

How World War II is taught in Germany

One of the main goals of teaching World War II in Germany is to ensure that students understand the importance of the Holocaust. Because of this, the Holocaust is a topic covered in great detail in German classrooms.

Students are taught about the different aspects of the Holocaust and its impact on Germany and the world. Textbooks were essential in the teachings of World War II in Germany because they were one of the primary sources of information for students. It is used to teach about the history of the war and the different aspects of life during that time.

Teaching about World War II became easier with different media use from textbooks, presentations, and technology. In addition to learning about the war, students also learn about the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities. It helps to ensure that such events are never repeated.

It is presented in an open, unbiased, and factual manner in Germany. High school pupils are at an age where they are mature enough to understand and grasp what took place. Thus, that is the level at which World War II is taught.

Concentration camp at Dachau

Schools provide field trips to important historical sites connecting to World War II, which are among the excellent methods used in teaching about World War II and another way for students to learn more about what happened during the war.

In German schools, students must learn about the Holocaust and World War II. Most students visit concentration camps, Holocaust memorials, battlefields, war cemeteries, or museums as part of their educational experience.

The focus on the War in Germany

German prisoners in world war II

Focusing on the war in Germany’s teachings is a very important topic. There are many different ways to look at the war, and how it is taught in schools is just one way. 

Some people may feel that focusing on the war is too much, while others may feel it is not enough. No matter what side of the argument you are on, it is essential to discuss and understand why war is taught in this way.

Technology in the Classroom

Technology in the classroom can be a powerful tool for teaching about World War II in Germany. With technology, multimedia presentations help students better understand the history and events of the war. 

Additionally, online resources can provide students access to primary sources and other valuable information to help them develop a deeper understanding of this complex topic.

Oral presentations and projects

In order to give students a better understanding of the events that took place during World War II, many teachers choose to have their students do oral presentations and projects about different aspects of the war. It can be an excellent way for students to learn more about the history of the conflict and improve their German language skills.

See Related: What If Germany Won WW1?

German student’s thoughts about World War II

Squad of German Soldiers During World War II

Most German students feel their country’s actions during World War II were inexcusable. They believe Germany was responsible for some of the war’s worst atrocities. Some students even feel guilty about their country’s role in the conflict. 

While Patriotism is starting to creep back into the German vogue, Nationalism is not socially accepted in Germany since it is easily linked to the Nazi party. When making jokes or humorous statements connected to World War II, you need considerable caution or consider not bringing it up.

It is because the nation is keenly aware of what took place and is eager to achieve closure and eradicate the image left by the war.

You know what? Just don’t mention the war.

See Related: Best German Food to Try Today

Current German Society

German Reunification In 1990
Image by Peer Grimm / CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE

Looking back on the last 100 years of history in Germany can be both fascinating and harrowing.  This country has seen tremendous changes over the decades – from division during the Cold War to reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall – and today, it is still working to grow its economy and improve society here in the 21st century.

Germany is also a very progressive country in many ways. It was one of the first countries to adopt compulsory education and has been a leader in renewable energy technologies. In addition, Germans are known for their strong sense of social responsibility, and there is a deep culture of volunteerism.

German society is a fascinating mix of tradition and progressivism, conservatism and liberalism. It is a place where you can find both old-world charm and cutting-edge innovation.

See Related: German-Speaking Countries Around the World


In conclusion, it is safe to say that how World War II was taught in Germany significantly impacted how Germans viewed their country’s role in this conflict.

History is taught in schools, and the fact that concentration camps are visited as part of the education curriculum has led to a highly critical attitude toward Germany’s Nazi past among younger generations.

This, in turn, will likely impact the future of German and global society positively. Although the educational system varies from one country to another, the important thing is that world history is taught positively.


Is World War II history being taught positively in Germany?

Yes. Germany is one country that tries its best to teach history fairly and openly so teachers can explain what happened during World War II and why.

This is not to say that Nazism is given a pass. Nazism is demonstrated to be the supreme evil it was (and is) and how good, normal people fell beneath its sway.

Does Germany celebrate WW2?

While many nations celebrated May 8th as VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), the day was used to remember the few members of the German Resistance who fought against the Nazis.

In 2020, it was declared that May 8th would become a German National Holiday celebrating the fall of Nazism, mirroring the old East German Victory Day holiday. As for celebrating the war itself? No. Not even close.

Do they teach WW1 in Germany?

Yes, students must learn about both World Wars in German history class.

Are the young people of Germany ignorant of WW2?

No. Most of their history classes are devoted to World War II, and these classes are compulsory.

Do Germans feel guilty about WW2?

It’s complicated. Some old enough to have lived through the Third Reich feel some guilt. For younger generations, there isn’t guilt; instead, an acceptance of having to know the truth of what their ancestors did or didn’t do while knowing they are not to blame for their ancestors. 

There is also the tangible national responsibility most Germans feel about preventing evil from triumphing again. Nowadays, most Germans shun Nazism and disagree with the Nazi regime and the crimes it committed up to and during World War II.

Is Hitler considered a hero in German history classes?

No. In German history classes, Hitler is not considered a hero, and his role in World War II is taught critically. The focus is on how the Nazi regime led to Germany’s defeat and the crimes committed during the Holocaust. Hitler was directly responsible for both.

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