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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
WND Still Likening Non-Homeschool-philes to Nazis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has latched onto a case in which a homeschooled German girl who purportedly was "suddenly was snatched from her home by a SWAT team of police officers and sent to a psychiatric ward for her 'school phobia.'" In WND style, the articles on the case by Bob Unruh offer no substantiation of the charge beyond statements by mostly anonymous members of a German homeschooling association, and no apparent attempt has been made by Unruh to contact German education officials regarding the veracity of the claims.

Part of this crusade by WND is repeatedly reminding readers that homeschooling in Germany was banned under the Nazi regime -- thus suggesting that anyone, German or non-German, who criticizes homeschooling is a Nazi, as we've previously noted. WND has kept up the smear. From a Feb. 13 article by Unruh quoting a conveninently anonymous spokesperson for the German homeschooling group:

Officials there said historically the German phobia about homeschooling began with Adolph Hitler, whose design was to control the minds of children as they grew, leaving them with only his worldview.

"The 'Jugendamt' (youth welfare office) has its origin in the German Nazi state," the German group said. "German Wikipedia writes about the Jugendamt: 'In 1939 the Jugendamt [was] adopted ... as a part of government in the NS-state control of child-education. The Jugendamt controlled and observed families and children politically from their birth."

A spokesman for the group told WND, "Today the Jugendamt … is free to take the children away from their parents when in their opinion the child's welfare is jeopardized. A false accusation of neighbors is sometimes sufficient to capture the children from their parents."

Given that Unruh has never told the other side of this story, assuming motives on the part of German officials and letting their critics speak for them is not just presumptuous, it's bad journalism. Unruh worked for the Associated Press for nearly 30 years; he knows better.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST

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