Teach slavery in schools alongside Holocaust, urges Prince Charles
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Teach slavery in schools alongside Holocaust, urges Prince Charles

In a speech to the heads of Commonwealth government in Kigali, the heir to the throne called slavery the “most painful period of our history”.

Britain's Prince Charles speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, Israel, 23 January 2020. The event marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz under the title 'Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism' is held to preserve the memory of the Holocaust atrocities by Nazi Germany during World War II. Photo by: Yonatan Sindel-JINIPIX
Britain's Prince Charles speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, Israel, 23 January 2020. The event marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz under the title 'Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism' is held to preserve the memory of the Holocaust atrocities by Nazi Germany during World War II. Photo by: Yonatan Sindel-JINIPIX

Prince Charles wants to see slavery taught as part of the national curriculum in schools alongside the Holocaust.

In a speech to the heads of Commonwealth government in Kigali, the heir to the throne called slavery the “most painful period of our history”, adding”. He added: “I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact”.

A royal source told the Sunday Times that the prince is consulting “world leaders and lots of different people” on the subject of Britain’s slavery crimes, which he wants to make an educational priority. The source added: “He is patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and he notes that in the UK, we now know and learn at school all about the Holocaust, so it is something that is acknowledged and learnt at a national level. That is not true of the transatlantic slave trade, and maybe that is something that should be.”

Between 1662 and 1807, Britain, with royal consent, sold an estimated 3,415,500 Africans into slavery. Around half a million did not survive the ‘middle passage’ transatlantic journey to the Americas. The trade was the largest forced migration in human history and scars Africa, the Americas and Europe to this day.

Charles, who spoke of his “personal sorrow” at the UK’s historical links with the slave trade during his visit to Rwanda last week, will campaign for greater public awareness of slavery, which has dogged the royal family’s recent overseas tours.

The source told the newspaper that the prince was “not dictating education policy” but acknowledging “that it needs to happen. So, just like the Holocaust Memorial Day, is there some way of doing that? Having a moment, having a way of remembering that?”

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