Friday, March 11, 2011

When students have completed their A-levels in Germany, they come up with a motto for year and traditionally, the motto must include ther word Abi, short for Abitur, the German A-levels, which qualif you for university. It's always a point of much discussion because usually it's printed on t-shirts for everyone and of course there are about as many opinions as there are students.

Monday a group of students discussed their Abi motto in my library. At first they talked about some more or less useful suggestions and then someone came up with "NSDAbi - 13 years of concentration and now we hit the gas". They seriously discussed using this as their motto and I seriously considered looking for the Hitler painting on the wall, since I apparently was listening to a group of Hitler Youth or something.
They finally decided against the motto after some girl said "Guys, imagine, like, meeting a Jew with a t-shirt saying that, how sick would that be?"

Those were Gymnasium students (grammar school/academic-track high school) in Germany and that means that they have spend a considerable time learning about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. It's not something you can avoid here and often, students are bored by it because they have to chew through the same topic several times in their years in school. I get that, but bored as you may be, one look at one of the photos taken after the liberation of, say, Dachau should be enough for anyone to keep from making such a joke (let alone seriously consider it).

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