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The Excluded. From Nazism to Present-Day Discrimination

Danuta KopiƄska

 

The students were acquainted with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prompted them to reflect on human rights violations in the past and in the present. As a result, they prepared informative posters about examples of human rights violations in the world today and exhibited them in the school hall. The students also prepared information on various communities that inhabited Bydgoszcz in the past and the relationship between them. They presented the results of their research on Jews, Roma and Russians who were living in Bydgoszcz, and the relations between them and Poles. One of the interesting things they found out was that in the inter-war period, some schools in town introduced numerus nullus (meaning a complete exclusion of Jews). On a selected day, the students placed in various places in the school (benches in the corridors, the school shop, classrooms, library) inscriptions referring to various forms of discrimination known from history. Some of the students collected reflections (recordings, short interviews) on the response of the school community to these manifestations of discrimination. A visit to the POLIN Museum was organized for students to learn about the centuries-old presence of the Jewish community in Poland and the common heritage. After visiting the museum, the young people had time to reflect, stopping at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, the Anielewicz Bunker and the Umschlagplatz monument in Stawki Street. The students read short reports of eyewitnesses of the tragic events that took place there in 1942. They admitted that it was a real history lesson full of strong emotions.

 

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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For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact info@tolinstitute.org

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