Israel Education Ministry devises lessons emphasizing Poland’s involvement in the Holocaust

Amid the controversy surrounding Poland’s “Holocaust bill,” the Israeli Education Ministry devised a new lesson plan emphasizing the cooperation of Europeans in the murder of Jews during the Second World War. In addition, the Education, Culture and Sports Committee called for freezing of the annual educational trips to Poland until an amendment of the bill is carried out.
Israeli students in Poland Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

The Israeli Education Ministry devised a new lesson plan amid the controversy surrounding Poland’s new bill outlawing any mention of its part in the Holocaust. The plan, instructed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, will teach students about “the involvement of the local populations, including Poland, in the Holocaust of the Jewish people.”

The ministry instructed Israeli schools to dedicate two lessons to holocaust studies during the upcoming week, with emphasis on the cooperation of Europeans in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.  The plan was devised together with the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial organization and will be taught to students aged 12-18.

The lessons will include testimonies by survivors and historical records as well as class discussions. In addition, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sports Committee Ya'akov Margi called for the Education Ministry to freeze the annual educational trips to Poland until an amendment of the Polish bill is carried out.

As previously reported by JOL, Israeli Foreign Ministry officials met on Sunday with Poland's deputy ambassador to Israel Piotr Kozlowski and expressed Israel's firm objection to the Polish bill. Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has defended the bill, stating that casting blame on Poland for crimes committed during the Holocaust should be illegal, amid backlash from Israeli lawmakers.

In interviews with Israel News Company, two Holocaust survivors claimed that the people of Poland were indisputably responsible for some of the crimes committed during the Second World War against the Jewish population of Europe. “One Polish woman saved me, but she was one in a hundred,” Richard Vangur, a Holocaust survivor said. “I would run from the Poles no less than from the Germans. They didn’t commit the Holocaust, it wasn’t the idea of the Poles, but they worked to help the Germans.”



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