Young Poles Forgetting Past

Forgetting Auschwitz

Forgetting Auschwitz

The Polish Ombudsman has appealed to the country for the collection of funds and for the creation of an education programme that will inform Polish students of the tragic events effecting Poland in the 20th century. The number of students visiting important historical places, such as the Nazi concentration camps of Majdanek and Auschwitz, has drastically decreased, according to Dziennik Polski. “This year there were more young Brits visiting us than Poles. It is a disaster,” says Dr Piotr Cywiński, director of the museum at Auschwitz. He says that young people do not understand their own recent history and as a result do not understand what is taking place in the world right now. “Soon, they will not realise the mistake often made by foreigners who talk of ‘Polish concentration camps’, whereas they should be labeled ‘Nazi’ or ‘German’ concentration camps,” he warns. Dr Marek Lasota, head of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) in Kraków, says that we are educating a generation devoid of not only identity, but also sensitivity and which is indifferent to evil. “We must pass on our history to young people not only because of what happened in the past but also for the sake of our present and future,” says Janusz Chwierut, who organised a Human Rights Forum in Auschwitz.

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