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Poland Embraces New Effort to Fight Anti-Semitism


World  (tags: World, Poland, anti-Semitism, discrimination, education, human rights, school, books, Catholic, history, Middle Ages, World War II, Nazis, SS, Holocaust, Jewish, Polish )

Tom
- 3725 days ago - google.com
Poland is the fifth in a group of 12 countries adopting such workbooks, after Germany, Ukraine, Denmark and the Netherlands. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe guided the project as part of an overall effort to fight anti-Semitisim.



   

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Kathy W (299)
Monday March 9, 2009, 11:18 pm
Thank you Tom.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 11, 2009, 6:37 am
Poland embraces new effort to fight anti-Semitism
By VANESSA GERA 5 days ago

WARSAW, Poland (AP) A human rights group and Poland's Education Ministry introduced new teaching materials for Poland's middle schools on Thursday in an effort to combat anti-Semitism.

Poland is the fifth in a group of 12 countries adopting such workbooks, after Germany, Ukraine, Denmark and the Netherlands. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe guided the project as part of an overall effort to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination.

Each country's texts cover similar topics, such as the history of anti-Semitism in Europe from the Middle Ages to World War II, but the books are written in the local language and focus on local issues.

Poland's books, for example, attempt to undermine a long-held assumption in Poland that a person cannot be Jewish and Polish at the same time. The notion has led to the exclusion of Jews from mainstream society and furthered the notion that they are foreign even though Jews first arrived 1,000 years ago.

"This is a problem in Poland that identity is perceived through your religion or ethnicity," said Piotr Trojanski, a historian and one of the main authors of the project in Poland. "We would like to change this."

Jews made up 10 percent of the country's population before World War II, but most were killed in the Holocaust. Others were driven out during anti-Semitic campaigns sponsored by the former communist regime. But in the two decades since communism's fall, the country's small remaining Jewish community has gained new confidence and the mainly Roman Catholic country has shown a growing interest in remembering and honoring it.

 
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