Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Who said the Germans were Barbarian's?

One of my little pet hates about the European Union is how it is slowly trying to rewrite history to its own benefit. We have the President of the Parliament's own little vanity project, the European House of History, which Bruno Waterfield Telegraph, and we have the Euro Clio project, with its slightly sinister subset Conecting Europe.
Education policies and regulations are commonly decided by national governments. In history this results in a focus that is very nationally oriented. Research by EUROCLIO confirms that the national dimension in history education is overrepresented, whereas the regional, European and international dimensions are underrepresented.
The disadvantage of a dominantly national approach is a distortion in historical events. The EUROCLIO Annual Meetings have always been a way to increase the European Dimension.
History educators from all over Europe have addressed a variety of topics and good practice that broadened their perspectives. Furthermore, EUROCLIO uses of trainers from a variety of European countries and beyond it all its project work. This transnational cooperation also increases the European dimension of history education and reduces the risk of a national bias in the developed material.
You get the idea.

Anyhow my favourite European history project is the Franco-German textbook, whose lead author Professor Marcel Spisser - an Alsatian Frenchman spoke at a conference in Brussels yesterday about the troubles they had getting the academics to agree...
"There was a big clash at the first meeting (of the editorial team of academics) a content problem. Was it the Versailles Treaty or international relations post 1945?

No it wasn't about that at all, it was about the barbarian invasions.

"Barbarians - Are you calling the Germans Barbarians!!!"."
It appears that in Germany the waves of Goths, Visigoths, Vandals and not least Huns are referred to as 'the movement of peoples'.


Falco said...

I'm all for the teaching of European history. Anything that shows that you can't trust the French.

theonlygoodeuisadeadeu said...

Bryan Ward-Perkins (History, Trinity) has felt the need to go into print (The Fall of Rome, pub 2005) in order to counteract the EU's fantasy version of history and to point out that the Germanic tribes were indisputably barbaric.