Home education advocates around the world are celebrating after a senior German political leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) became the highest ranking official in the nation to publicly express support for persecuted homeschooling families there. Norbert Blüm, a federal lawmaker and former labor minister who served for over 15 years, said the modern educational system in Germany was “usurping” children while ignoring the important role of parents.
Under the National Socialist (Nazi) regime of mass-murderer Adolf Hitler, homeschooling became illegal throughout Germany in 1938. Like collectivists of all varieties, the Nazi tyrant viewed children as property of the state who needed to be properly indoctrinated with its philosophy. Even Boy Scouts were banned while children and adolescents were prodded into joining the Hitler Youth.
Now, Scouting is legal and the Hitler Youth is nothing but a bitter memory for most Germans — a dark chapter in world history. Despite Hitler's defeat in World War II, however, home education remains illegal throughout Germany even today. Brave families that attempt to educate their children at home in defiance of the ban have become the victims of ruthless persecution campaigns that continue to shock the world.
Some parents, even recently, have actually lost custody of their children over home education, with the government claiming that it has a "legitimate" interest in quashing “parallel societies.” Other persecuted German families fled the country as political refugees, seeking asylum in countries like the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and other European nations. Around the world, Germany’s Nazi-era home-education ban has become an international scandal in recent years.
For former Labor Minister Blüm, an award-winning human rights campaigner as well as a politician, the alarming trend has gone way too far. “Today I observe a total usurpation of children by school,” the respected political figure explained in a recent statement sent out to journalists all over the globe, drawing praise from human rights activists and home education leaders. “Children are exhausted by leaving home early in the morning and returning late in the evening.”
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Photo of Robert Blüm in 1988