Embassy Supports Seminar for Polish Teachers on Human Rights and the Holocaust

On September 7, 2020, the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Officer Dan Hastings virtually welcomed the 40 Polish educators competitively selected to attend the eight-week online course “Teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights through Art.” The seminar is the third edition of annual training organized by the New York-based The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI) in collaboration with the Warsaw-based POLIN Museum and Yad Vashem in Israel. The course is addressed to teachers, educators, and social activists interested in teaching about the Holocaust and human rights who already have experience teaching about the history of the Holocaust. TOLI is named after Olga Lengyel, a survivor of Auschwitz and the author of Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz.  An American immigrant and philanthropist, Olga dedicated herself to remembering the martyrs and lessons of the Holocaust so that such atrocities would never happen again.  During the seminar’s opening, distinguished guests saluted the Polish educators for their commitment to teaching about the Holocaust.  David Field, Vice-President of TOLI, noted that “Never Again” begins in the classroom, and that teachers are vital to teaching the next generation about the tragedy of the Holocaust.  In thanking the teachers, Eyal Raviv from Israel talked about his grandmother surviving the Holocaust thanks to being saved by a Polish Catholic woman. (Embassy Warsaw Note:  This speaker’s 97 year-old grandmother Sara also helped to sponsor the seminar.)  In his remarks, Dan Hastings mentioned the U.S. diplomatic mission’s long support for promoting remembrance, education, and dialogue surrounding the Holocaust and revival of Poland’s rich Jewish heritage.  Mr. Hastings also singled out Katarzyna Łaziuk, an alumna of the U.S. State Department’s Teacher Training on Holocaust, who worked tirelessly with the TOLI organizers on the seminar’s dynamic agenda.