Poland may put end to Holocaust education trips, claiming anti-Poland ‘propaganda’

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Politicians leading the March of the Living at the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, May 2, 2019. (AP).

“The trips do not take place in a proper manner. They sometimes instill hatred for Poland in the heads of young Israelis,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Jablonski as relations with Israel further deteriorate.

As relations between Poland and Israel continue to deteriorate, Poland is reassessing future trips by Israeli students to the country, where they visit concentration camps as part of Holocaust education.

Poland’s president Andrzej Duda signed legislation Saturday that restricts the rights of former Polish property owners, including Holocaust survivors and their descendants, to regain property seized by the country’s communist regime.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid slammed the decision, calling it anti-Semitic.

“The new ambassador to Poland, who was supposed to leave soon to Warsaw, will not leave for Poland at this point,” Lapid said.

On Monday, Poland announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Israel and that it was reconsidering any future educational visits by Israeli students to Poland.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski claimed that the trips promote anti-Polish sentiment among the young participants.

“The trips do not take place in a proper manner. They sometimes instill hatred for Poland in the heads of young Israelis,” said Jablonski.

“This propaganda, based on hatred for Poland, is poured into the minds of young people,” he alleged. “We will examine the issue in depth because it is clear that the way these tours take place is not the right way.”

Each year – other than 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – tens of thousands of Israeli high school students and students from other countries, often accompanied by politicians, religious leaders and Jewish and non-Jewish activists, participate in Holocaust education trips to Poland, where they visit sites of Nazi atrocities.

Most famously they visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, accompanied by educators and Holocaust survivors.

(World Israel News).

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