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Contemporary debates

Germans Debate Crucifixes in Classrooms, Again

Germany’s Christian-Conservative Party CDU wanted to show its diversity and presented Aygül Özkan, daughter of Turkish immigrants, as the future minister for social and integration issues of Lower Saxony. However, already before her scheduled inauguration oath on Tuesday, she has already stumped her party colleagues by demanding that Germany take its separation of church and state more seriously: Just as teachers should not wear headscarfs, she said, Christian crucifixes should not be displayed in Germany’s classrooms. Some of the statements made by Özkan’s critics reveal to what extent the idea of a “normal” Germany is still based on a Christian and white homogeneous group. Read more about the debate here.


About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.


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