Catholic Schools during the Second World War: Victims of German Indoctrination?
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In the spring of 1945, the Allied Ministers of Education in London set up a Commission to investigate the re-education of teachers and pupils in the territories formerly occupied by Nazi Germany. The Commission proposed to implement ‘appropriate teaching methods’, based on the scientific results of psycho-technique, in Europe’s national education systems, as well as to introduce ‘counter propaganda’ in schools, such as educational films or radio that had the task of ‘facilitating the national feeling’ again.1 For Belgium, the Commission launched plans to de-Nazify Belgian education and introduce counter propaganda, in particular in the German-speaking territories of Belgium that had been annexed by Germany during the war. The aim of the Allied education reform plan for Belgium was to foster ‘faith in the reasonableness and good will of human beings, love of freedom, deep and abiding respect for individuality, [and] a generally humane and tolerant attitude’.2