Document Type

Article

Creation Date

2013

Abstract

Existing studies revealed several conflicts around the memory of the Holocaust in Poland: between understanding the need to teach about the Holocaust and indifference toward anti-Jewish graffiti; a conflict around the perception of Polish help to Jews; and the competing images of Polish and Jewish suffering during World War II. Those conflicts will be addressed in the paper as reflecting educational gaps in the Polish education system (lack of bad memory).

This paper will look at the consciousness of young Poles, in terms of attitudes toward Jews, the Holocaust and memory of the Holocaust. The data presented are the preliminary results of the author’s longitudinal study „Attitudes of Young Poles toward the Jews and the Holocaust”. Quantitative and qualitative studies include field studies and participant observation of educational projects in Tykocin, Treblinka, Warsaw, Lublin, Bodzentyn and Kielce.

The paper will present some components of the development of education about the Holocaust in Poland. There is a need to evaluate the attempt to bring back the memory of Jewish neighbours in some of the states of Central and Eastern Europe, a process with an ongoing effort to renovate monuments, destroyed cemeteries and synagogues. The number and scope of such initiatives in Poland indicate that civic institutions and individuals are intensifying their efforts to teach their fellow citizens about the Holocaust, however their impact should be assessed in detail.

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