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KL Auschwitz in the Social Consciousness of Poles, A.D. 2000


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Sixty years after KL Auschwitz had been established by the Nazis on the outskirts of Oświęcim, a town in occupied Poland, to serve primarily as a ‘concentration camp’ for the Polish political prisoners and later as the major site of the ‘final solution of the Jewish question’, and 55 years after its nightmare ended through the liberation by the Soviet Army, a national representative survey of public opinion was conducted to measure the significance, knowledge and symbolism of KL Auschwitz among Poles today.1 This was the first comprehensive nation-wide survey of public opinion about Auschwitz in Poland. It covered some of the issues addressed in earlier surveys carried out since 1995.2 The survey was a part of a larger research project that deals with the changing perception and attitudes of Poles to Auschwitz in 1990s. This project also includes archival research, content analysis of the media and school text books, and empirical quantitative and qualitative research among the Polish visitors to the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim and the Museum’s staff. The project in general and the survey in particular have been undertaken to fill in the gap of knowledge and understanding of the Polish perceptions of and attitudes to what is a painful historical fact, a complex symbol and a matter of controversies. A research objective also was to provide cognitive background to educational activities about Auschwitz in Poland and world-wide, in particular to the activities of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as Polish and international school curricula designers and textbook writers.




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Link to article (paywalled), KL Auschwitz in the Social Consciousness of Poles, A.D. 2000

Bibliographic Information

Kucia, Marek KL Auschwitz in the Social Consciousness of Poles, A.D. 2000. Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide. Palgrave Macmillan. 2001: 2524-2543.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/978-1-349-66019-3_178