National Conference In Poland

The purpose of the National Conference held at Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Poland, was to present the results of HANNAH Project and to explore and discuss the questions of combating antisemitism through educational and commemorative initiatives. The conference consisted of two main panels: one – with teachers and educators Krystian Kazimierczuk and Mariusz Madej, and the other – with local activists from two organisations operating in Southern Poland: Sądecki Sztetl and Sztetl Mszana Dolna. Part of the conference programme was the public screening of the HANNAH documentary, and discussion about some questions raised in the film.

During the first panel, the main focus was how to provide education about antisemitism and the Holocaust and anti-discrimination activities in Polish schools, considering the overloaded curricula, the bias visible in Polish educational system resulting from political situation that affects it. Another extremely interesting subject was how to challenge stereotypes, prejudice and myths that students know from home and/or local environment, how to fight general xenophobia.

The second panel, held in the afternoon, was focusing on local activism and commemorative activities as a way of educating the local community about Jewish history and heritage and changing attitudes. Artur Franczak and Edyta Danielska representing Sądecki Sztetl work in the city of Nowy Sącz and in smaller towns in the area. Mrs Urszula Antosz-Rekucka, Mr Marek Rekucki and their daughter Rachela centred their efforts in their hometown Mszana Dolna – a tiny town south-east from Kraków, and a very conservative community. The representatives of both organisations shared their most successful projects and examples of good practice, and encouraged the audience (mostly teachers and educators from across Poland) to act locally, to start with small steps, and to search for allies and support on local and regional level, in order to bring back the memory of the Jewish communities.

The conference was held at Galicia Jewish Museum (ul. Dajwór 18, 31-052 Kraków) on 31 July 2022. In total 74 persons participated in the conference.