The Lesson

The Lesson

Mon, 05/23/2022 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Photo: Students at a public school in Germany

Provided by APT

At age 14, every child attending public school in Germany is brought face to face with a dark moment in their nation’s past, confronting the reality of the Holocaust for the very first time. 

The Lesson, airing Monday, May 23 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, follows four schoolchildren as they experience Holocaust education in a society facing a rising wave of xenophobia and the far-right.

Filmed over five years, from 2014 to 2019, the documentary examines how, despite Germany’s exemplary public school system, younger generations are growing indifferent to their country’s dark past and are unwilling to apply the lessons learned to the realities of today. The changing global political backdrop over the time of filming underscores the importance of tackling uncomfortable truths, and not merely being a “Mitlaufer,” or bystander. The documentary also spotlights everyday Germans who are taking a stand against the far-right.