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Dialogue with
Polish Students

The history of the Holocaust shows people how cruel the Germans and other nationalities were to the Jews. It is good to know about things that have happened in the past. That's why we are learning about the Holocaust.

The Holocaust is something that took place during World War II, but it is still going on. Jews, Turks,and Gypsies are persecuted without any reason. The colour of the skin makes people "different." Also, unfamiliar traditions and cultures are regarded badly. My parents always told me that the appearance of a person does not matter; they were right. I have a friend from Japan and she's a lovely girl. If a person is good, we do not need to look at his or her background.

Joanna Suska and Dagmara Walkowska,
Primary School No. 1
ul. 10-Lutego 26 81-364
Gdynia, Poland

[ Map of Modern Poland ]

Thank you for writing. I will do my best to answer your question. I am doing this with pleasure.

In Poland, we can learn about the Holocaust from many sources. There are many documentary films on TV, many Polish production movies. We have many history programs on the radio discussing the Holocaust. We can learn about this issue from history books; various kinds of publications; and, from school, of course. Sometimes, we talk about it with our parents and grandparents. I asked my parents what their feelings are about the Holocaust. They are definitely against intolerance, aggression, and any kind of violence. They are very sorry about what happened during World War II and afterward in Europe, particularly to the Jews.

From childhood, we learn about the Holocaust, but because of very drastic aspects of this problem, we start to study it in the eighth grade. During history classes, we have some obligatory reading (e.g., novels and poems), written by Polish authors. In high school, we study the Holocaust in much more detail. Very often, high schools organize field trips to Auschwitz and other extermination and concentration camps. Today, there are World War II museums.

As far as I understand, the Holocaust is the most frightful example of intolerance in human history. Can you tell me what is the mainstream of your activity in the Holocaust/Genocide Project? Do you concentrate on current examples of intolerance? In your opinion, what is the most effective way to combat intolerance? Wishing you all the best in the new year of 1998. I am looking forward to your reply.


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