A Polish middle school student from Paris stood up for historical truth

According to the information from the Museum of the Warsaw 1944 Uprising, Jakub Vaugon is a nineteen-year-old middle school student from a Polish-French Parisian family. In 2017, during a history lesson in his French gymnasium, he chose to protest against the textbook’s statement the Poles in the Treblinka extermination camp assisted Germans in the genocide of not only Jews but also prisoners of other nationalities.

Despite total lack of interest and support from his school, Jakub, with the help of his parents, won an apology and promise of correction from the publisher of the history textbook which provided such false statements. Jakub’s efforts were appreciated by the 9th edition of Jan Rodowicz ‘Anode’ and he became one of the nominees. Here you can watch a video about Jakub.

It is worth adding, that during WW2, in terms of civilian casualties, Poland was the worst affected European country. Germans murdered over 17% of our population which is about 6 million civilians including almost three million Polish Jews. Poland compensation demands from Germany for human and material losses have been ignored for years. Despite German occupation terrors, Poles are the largest group among those who were saving Jews during WW2. It is impressive, keeping in mind the inevitable punishment by the German law in occupied Poland was instant execution of such persons and their immediate family.

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, honours these examples of Gentile’s heroism, with the Righteous Among the Nations title. It is worth remembering, that before a title is granted, Yad Vashem thoroughly researches every application, and one of the important factors is testimony of rescued Jews. As for today, the group numbers 27, 712 people, and 25% among them are Poles. More can be found on the official Yad Vashem website. So far, 7112 Poles, mostly Christians, have been honoured by the State of Israel with the Righteous Among the Nations title. This is more than any other nation (in comparison, only 638 are Germans). The entire list is available here.

The above information was compiled by Daria Więcek after the post was published on the website of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. 

Photos: screenshot from the video posted on the Museum website. 

Translation by Jolanta Pitera