Education: Everyman's History

Of all the weapons that France and Germany have used against each other, none has been quite so insidious as the history textbook. Last week the daily Stuttgarter Nachrichten reported that the weapon is at last losing some of its power. Partly because of the work of Brunswick's International Schoolbook Institute, French and German historians have begun to correlate their tunes. One case in point: Alsace-Lorraine, taken from France by Bismarck in 1871 and returned after the victories of Marshal Foch in 1918.

Before the end of World War II, the average French schoolchild would have read something like this: "Ever since...