Photo Gallery Removing Racist Terms from Children's Books

A German publisher is being accused of excessive political correctness for removing controversial language from a classic children's book, sparking debate about how to handle outdated and offensive words in the genre.
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One of Germany's oldest children's book publishers, Thienemann Verlag, has amended its new edition of Otfried Preussler's beloved 1957 tale "The Little Witch" ("Die kleine Hexe") to remove certain questionable terms, including the word "negro." The decision has sparked heated discussion over how to handle outdated, controversial language in classic children's books.

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The topic had already recently been in the news after Family Minister Kristina Schröder recently took aim at politically incorrect content in classic children's literature. If she were to read aloud to her daughter from one of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking books, called "Pippi in Taka Tuka Land" (shown here) she would leave out the word "negro" in order "to protect my child from taking on such expressions," Schröder said.

Foto: Oetinger
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Lindgren, shown here, had resisted updating the text of "Pippi in Taka Tuka Land," which many had come to view as racist. But after her death in 2002, the book was revised.

Foto: AP/ Pressens Bild
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Here, German Family Minister Kristina Schröder visits a kindergarten. Critics argue that it's the job of parents to explain problematic terminology in children's literature, but others fear that some parents might not take such an engaged approach.

Foto: Jˆrg Carstensen/ picture alliance / dpa
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