Baumholder class selects Mao as 'most powerful figure'
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — One year after placing second to Walt Disney in Baumholder High School’s “Power of One” project to select history’s most powerful individual, former Chinese strongman Mao Tse-Tung was selected this week by students in Baumholder’s 10th-grade honors world history and literature class.
Taught by Carter Hollenbeck and Heidi Kretz, students in the class choose historical figures they think most shaped history.
Previous winners have been Hitler, Stalin, Freud and Darwin. Past “Power of One” selectees may not be considered again by future classes.
Students spend the entire year researching their choices, and then make the case for one individual in panel discussions and face-to-face debates against the other students. A class vote determines the winner of each round of debate.
Winner Ben McDaniels said he chose Mao because of his impact on a society of 1 billion people. In McDaniels’ view, “Mao turned a third-world country into an industrial powerhouse.”
McDaniels said he received advice from fellow student Andrew Hooks, who presented the case for Mao last year.