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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 15:49 GMT
MP's call to withdraw Hitler poem
Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside
Louise Ellman says that the book should be withdrawn or reissued
An MP wants a children's poem written from the viewpoint of Adolf Hitler, to be withdrawn.

The verse, written by a 14-year-old boy and featured in the Great Minds anthology, includes the line: "I'll be happy Jews died."

Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, says the poem could "feed prejudice," and wants Education Secretary Ruth Kelly to intervene.

The poet, Gideon Taylor, said it was a school project and he was not racist.

Gideon wrote: "Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces.

'Not racist'

"Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber, where they will sleep in their manger."

In a statement, the teenager said of the school project: "It had to have a connection to the Holocaust, so I thought I would write a poem about Adolf Hitler and his perception of life and power.

"As soon as I had written the poem and read it through, I knew some people would interpret it in the wrong way.

"I did not mean to offend anybody by writing this poem and I am not a racist person."

Kids would be well aware that the poet has written from the perspective of Adolf Hitler
Ian Walton, Forward Press

A total of 452 copies of the anthology have been printed.

Mrs Ellman said she was concerned that children may not understand what the poem is about.

She added: "The way it is presented can feed prejudice and I think that's very disturbing.

"I would like it to be withdrawn or if it is not withdrawn, then it should be reissued so that it's made clear what it is about."

Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said an approach had been made to the publishers to resolve the issue.

Comments from 'bigots'

Forward Press managing director Ian Walton insisted 11 to 18-year-olds would be well aware that the poet had written from the perspective of Adolf Hitler.

"E-mails coming in tell me that kids aged 11 to 18 wouldn't understand the subtleties of the poem.

"I take exception to that, as these 'kids' would be well aware that the poet has written from the perspective of Adolf Hitler.

"They are probably more intellectually minded than many of the bigots who comment before obtaining the facts.

"If this poem had caused an outrage, I am sure many of the other parents or schools would have complained," he said.


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