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What can we learn from the dark chapters in our history? <br>Education about the Holocaust in Poland in a comparative perspective.

By Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs and Elisabeth Büttner

Abstract

The article investigates what research tells us about the dynamics of educational practice in both formal and informal education about the Holocaust. It poses questions such as whether it is possible to identify good practices on a political and/or educational level, whether there are links between education about the Holocaust and human rights education, and how education about the Holocaust relates to attitudes toward Jews. Examples of both international studies (such as those by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU and the American Jewish Committee) and some national surveys on education about the Holocaust are discussed, followed by an analysis of empirical studies from Poland based on focus group interviews and individual interviews with educators. The choice of case study was based on the historical fact that occupied Poland was the site of the murder of almost 5 million Jews, including 3 million Polish Jews. In many cases a strong association with a Polish sense of victimhood based on the memory of the terror and the murder of almost 2 million ethnic Poles during WWII creates conflicting approaches and generates obstacles to providing education about Jewish victims. Nevertheless, following the fall of communism, the number of educational initiatives designed to teach and learn about the Shoah is steadily increasing. The article presents tips for successful programmes of education about the Holocaust which can be generalised for any type of quality education, but are primarily significant for education about tolerance and education aimed at reducing prejudice, counteracting negative stereotypes and preventing discrimination

Topics: General Works, A
Publisher: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.7577/fleks.844
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:530f99fbfadb432582091e4b7f220a19
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