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Polish Prime Minister Promises Jews Holocaust Will Be Taught in Schools

April 21, 1992
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“Polish children will learn about the Holocaust,” the prime minister of Poland, Jan Olszewski, pledged at a meeting with Jewish leaders at the World Jewish Congress headquarters here last week.

Poland’s educational curriculum and textbooks will “faithfully and honestly” portray the tragic fate of Polish Jewry during the Holocaust, the visiting prime minister said April 15, according to Elan Steinberg, executive director of the WJC.

That will end four decades of silence on the subject during which Polish youth learned nothing in their schools of the history of the Holocaust or even of their own national history, while Poland was under Communist rule, the prime minister said.

He was responding to Benjamin Meed, president of the American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, who urged the Polish leader to make sure Polish children are properly taught about terrible events of the Holocaust.

When Ruth Popkin, president of the Jewish National Fund, spoke of seeing swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on a recent visit to Poland, Olszewski blamed the lack of education of Polish youth on the history of those times.

Speaking for members of his own generation, he said the sign of the swastika was as horrible for them to behold as it was for Jews.

Olszewski recalled that this month marks the 47th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which he witnessed as a 13-year-old.

He said he saw ghetto fighters defy the Nazis by hanging Star of David banners alongside the red and white national colors of Poland.

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