„Let’s educate children about the Righteous Among the Nations” – says Daniel Kawczynski MP

Every year on 27 January, Europe, and the world commemorate one of the most horrific events of the 20th century on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day.

This represents an opportunity to rediscover the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany all across Europe and their genocidal plan to exterminate the Jewish nation. 

In a recent speech given in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski said that apart from teaching younger generations about the Holocaust, which remains essential, he argued for the need to “educate children about the tremendous courage, bravery, and sacrifices of the Righteous Among the Nations.”  

He further illustrated his idea by referring to his own Polish ancestors from Western Poland, Jan, and Halina Kawczynski. Both were shot by the Germans together with their daughter Magdalena for having protected and hidden Jewish relatives in their homes. 

As well as educating children about the misery of the Holocaust, we must give them inspiration that many of our brothers and sisters […] gave the ultimate sacrifice for their friends and neighbours of the Jewish faith”, – Kawczynski insisted. 

Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education Robert Halfon took the floor following his Tory counterpart and expressed his complete agreement with Kawczynski’s opinion. 

We must teach people that there were righteous gentiles who suffered, doing everything possible to save our Jews” – he insisted. He gave the example of Irena Sendler, who saved two thousand Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. 

The country that suffered the most during the World War II, in proportion to its population, was Poland. By the summer of 1945, some 6 million Polish citizens (3 million Poles and 3 million Polish Jews), equivalent to 17,1% of the pre-war population, had been killed.

Image: Phil Robinson/Alamy

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

From the editor:

To date, 7,177 Christian Poles (more than any other country) have been awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel, more than those of any other nation (to compare Germany just 641). Poles constitute the largest national group within the Righteous Among the Nations recognised by Yad Vashem. 27.921 people have been recognised so far. More than 25% of which were Polish. You can read more at the official Yad Vashem website. We need to remember that throughout the German occupation of Poland, many Poles risked their own lives – and the lives of their families – to rescue Jews from the Germans. This is a most impressive number considering the harsh punishment that threatened rescuers. Polish citizens were hampered by the most extreme conditions in all of German-occupied Europe. Occupied Poland was the only territory where the Germans decreed that any kind of help for Jews was punishable by death for the helper and their entire family. At least 50.000 Poles were executed by the Germans solely as a penalty for saving Jews.

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