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The Excluded. From Nazism to Present-Day Discrimination

Marzena Wolschlager

There were 4 teachers involved in the project, one class of students (30 people) co-ordinated the event and the whole school community (about 450 people) underwent the project actions. Initially the 30 students discussed about minorities in their town, especially Jewish and German, about human rights and about discrimination, isolation and exclusion. Then the teacher created a simulation of ghetto benches, which was initially a form of official segregation in the seating of students introduced in 1935 at the Lwow Polytechnic. Under the ghetto benches system, Jewish university students were required under threat of expulsion to sit in the left-hand side of the lecture halls. In the framework of the project, the students experienced a wide range of emotions related to being isolated and discriminated against and had the opportunity to reflect on them in the safe environment of their classroom. Afterwards, they became organizers and extended the simulation to the halls of the school, placing cards with messages of different restrictions on various doors (e. g. “No blondes allowed in here.”). In the end they made a manifesto-poem, which ends with the following words: “You are a human yourself, remember! / Fight against discrimination / and don`t discriminate others. / It’s calamity of our civilization.”

This project was planned tin conjunction with another project of the same name by the two teachers. They consisted of similar activities implemented with two different groups of students in two schools.

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