Karl-May-Forum

The first English language forum dedicated to one of the most enigmatic and successful German writers of all time
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 Post subject: How Karl May is influencing children in America
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:36 pm
Posts: 25
Location: USA
I must agree on the discussion posted by Bill, under “Karl May's Wild West Vernacular”, how amazing it is Karl May was able to accurately describe the customs and cultures of people all over the world with the limited resources at his disposal. Take the Oriental Odyssey series, he presents the customs of the people in the Middle East in a way that gives us a greater insight into why the Shiites, Kurds, and the Sunni are divided. Also he explains the blood feuds and why they are a part of the culture today. The same holds true for the Native Americans.

It is evident that prejudice exists among people in today’s society and one of the greatest challenges we must overcome. However, there is an opportunity to change these attitudes with the help of Karl May, the best place to start is with the children. It troubled me a great deal to hear my own grandson use slurs when describing people in the Middle East. His perception of our Native American culture had been clouded by what he is learning in school and from his friends. When I asked him what he knew of the people in the Middle East, it was clear from the answers he gave there was a need for better understanding in order to erase the distortions that had influenced his attitude. This is when Karl May stepped in. After he read the Oriental Odyssey series his opinion changed. He now understands they are people just like us but just live a little differently and just because we have these differences does not mean we have the right to put them down or disrespect them. If Karl May’s stories could have this effect on one child maybe other children would also see what Karl May outlined in his Winnetou books. This gave me an idea, to start a project with the kids, which involves reading the Winnetou series. The kids are writing a book report after completing each book outlining what they have read and how Karl May has effected their perception of the American Indians.

Learning to accept and embrace people of other cultures through the adventures of Kara Ben Nemsi, Old Shatterhand, Old Surehand and Winnetou is not only lessons of morality but also a different approach to the dry distorted history that children are learning in traditional classrooms. Let us teach our children through Karl May the messages he has embodied in his stories, the understanding of our fellow man and through this realization learn to live in peace with one another.

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Angie Baldwin - Nemsi Books http://www.nemsi-books.com


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 Post subject: Re: How Karl May is influencing children in America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:58 am
Posts: 100
Location: Melbourne Australia
Angie - my congratulations on your original and unique idea of presenting Karl May's books to school children! This is the first and progressive step forward how to bring the world of Karl May to youngsters in Dakota. It might be very productive to get in touch with children in Radebeul, where does exist a primary school, named "Karl May School," perhaps along the lines of letter exchange, etc.? May I suggest to ask for further information Mr. Ralf Harder or the Museum how to go about it in practical terms? I am sure the children would have a lot to write about!


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